Off-the-shelf battery helps power niche electric vehicle market

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The challenge for specialist vehicle, niche manufacturers and electric conversion specialists to source new, affordable, automotive-grade battery packs in low volumes, has been addressed by Swindon Powertrain with its High Energy Density (HED) range.

To date, niche manufacturers have had to develop their own packs each time or source parts from used EVs. As well as not knowing their history, such OEM packs tend to be packaged for a specific vehicle, making installation elsewhere difficult. Swindon Powertrain’s HED is believed to be the first commercially available ‘off the shelf’ battery pack available, developed specifically for such users to buy as a single unit or in low, mid or high volumes.

Available from September, initially in either 30kWh or 60kWh options, HED is an automotive grade lithium-ion unit. Designed and developed according to ECE 100-03, it measures 1000mm long by 420mm wide and either 375 or 615mm tall, depending on battery capacity. Compact and light (from 190kg) HED comes supplied with Battery Management System and Manual Service Disconnect in an enclosure for thermal management and damage protection.

The lack of commercially available automotive battery packs mirrors Swindon Powertrain’s previous experience of trying to find low volume, high-performance, quality e-powertrains that ultimately led it to create its HPD range of ‘crate’ motor and transmission units. Now, in order to solve its own supply chain issues, it has commenced battery assembly in its facility that was originally used to build race winning F1 engines in the 1970s.

“Niche manufacturers and conversion specialists told us they couldn’t source new, industry-grade batteries from the big suppliers who aren’t interesting in low-volume supply,” said Swindon Powertrain’s managing director Raphaël Caillé. “This has led to some recycling parts from used EVs, often of unknown provenance. HED means they have a fresh, turnkey battery pack complete with the peace of mind that comes from over 50 years of supplying to the motorsport and automotive markets.”

HED joins the Swindon Powertrain range of high-quality and proven electric powertrain power units, controllers and accessories that enable the electrification of development vehicles, classic cars, quads, ATVs, light duty commercial and low volume, specialist vehicles. In addition to manufacturing and retailing electric powertrain products, the business offers powertrain design and simulation services, mechanical and electrical manufacturing, powertrain system testing and electrical integration services.

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