Britishvolt passes battery safety tests

7th September 2022
Paige West

Britishvolt has successfully passed essential industry standard battery cell safety tests UN38.3 and will shortly be shipping its development 21700 cells to seven customers for further testing.

Nearly all lithium batteries are required to pass section 38.3 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria (UN Transportation Testing). The UK firm AIS, which provides a complete lithium-ion battery testing service, was the selected safety testing house and passed the cells.

“At Britishvolt, we are incredibly pleased to be working with AIS, to utilise their expertise and to help support validation of our technology in terms of safety performance. Safety is a key metric in battery cell manufacturing.

“This is fantastic news, and highly encouraging that we have worked with AIS to qualify our first product samples for transportation safety testing, putting us on a path for our future development and enables us to ship test hardware to customers,” said Dr Allan Paterson, Chief Technical Officer, Britishvolt.

Britishvolt is in the process of distributing cells for testing to seven customers, including blue-chip OEMs. UN38.3 certification is a significant step as it ensures cells are safe to be transported.

To be deemed safe for transportation, lithium-ion cells must not show any signs of leak, rupture, disassemble or fire hazard. An exhaustive test programme consisting of a variety of simulated extreme conditions such as high altitude, very low and high temperatures and several mechanical abusive tests are performed.

“AIS is delighted to have been selected by Britishvolt and proud that our expertise in certification and homologation to various international standards has enabled us to support them in successfully achieving this major milestone. We have been developing our lithium-ion battery testing capabilities for some time and we will continue to expand and invest in this exciting area. We are looking forward to supporting Britishvolt with their further testing requirements in the near future,” said Andrew Bennion, Managing Director, AIS.

“UKBIC is proud to see one of its key customers, Britishvolt, pass these important battery cell safety standards, a huge milestone for the company. Battery cell safety is of paramount importance to all stakeholders. Building battery cells of this quality on behalf of our customers is further endorsement of the state-of-the-art UKBIC facility and our ‘baselinecell platform’ developed to support rapid industrialisation. UKBIC is one of the very few organisations in the world to offer this service to battery cells developers,” said Ian Whiting, Commercial Director, UKBIC.

Britishvolt has already signed memorandums of understanding with five separate OEMs, including Lotus and Aston Martin. Across these five customers and with one other, Britishvolt has signed two Joint Development Agreements and a pre-offtake agreement. Cumulative customer demand across MoU, JDA and pre-offtake agreements exceeds 8 GWh in 2025.

Britishvolt has already developed successful A Samples and is scaling up its unique cell formulations at UKBIC in Coventry and will also have its own scale up facilities from 2024 at Hams Hall in the Midlands, UK.

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