The Nissan Leaf's battery technology is now available to other manufacturers, in a move that could open up the UK electric vehicle market.
Nissan has reached a deal with Sunderland firm Hyperdrive Innovation that will allow the Japanese manufacturer's UK-made lithium ion battery technology to be used in Hyperdrive’s own commercial products.
Hyperdrive specialises in battery management systems for automotive and non-automotive electric and hybrid applications, and as a result of the deal with Nissan now has a local supply of cutting edge battery cells that will dramatically cut costs to its customers. Previously, Hyperdrive imported such batteries.
Hyperdrive’s managing director, Stephen Irish, said the deal opened up an opportunity for more niche applications, including performance and autonomous cars, to use electric technology.
He said: “Resurgent UK car manufacturers, for example, would have to spend millions of pounds to develop their own electric vehicle batteries.
“The ability to acquire world-leading technology and engineering support via Hyperdrive instead could give UK car manufacturers a significant head start in the race to deliver commercially successful electric vehicles.”
In other EV news: the Tesla Model S P100D is the world's quickest car
Hyperdrive offers bespoke electric solutions developed to particular needs, but will also use the Nissan technology to develop off-the-shelf battery products that could be adopted at a much lower cost by companies such as small-volume vehicle manufacturers.
Irish continued: “Nissan’s battery management system is very focused on its job in the Nissan Leaf so you need to do a lot of tailoring to make it work in other applications, and that’s the bit that we do.