A new Milton Keynes R&D and production is site set to develop batteries for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid green auto markets.
The UK automotive industry may face an uncertain future because of Brexit, as key manufacturers such as Nissan show their concerns about the prospect of losing access to the single market.
However, the sector was provided a boost earlier in the week as Johnson Matthey Battery Systems cut the ribbon on a new facility in Milton Keynes that is designed to provide battery technologies to the green vehicle industry.
The engineering giant’s battery arm specialises in the design, development and supply of batteries for ‘demanding automotive applications’, such as high performance hybrids and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), as well as e-bikes, power tools and mobile technologies.
The new Precedent House facility brings together engineering, electrochemistry and battery development capabilities, including prototype assembly and low volume battery pack production lines.
Speaking at the official opening of the facility Johnson Matthey CEO Robert MacLeod said it was well positioned to serve the UK auto market’s growing interest in hybrid and plug-in vehicles.
“The consolidation and expansion of our automotive capabilities at this new location in Milton Keynes fits with the needs of our customers, many of whom are based in the Midlands,” he said in a statement. “Being close to them will support the growth of our business over the coming years.”
The opening was also welcomed by Lord Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Steve Coventry, who said the facility would provide a further boost to the city’s efforts to establish itself as a hub for electric and driverless vehicles.
He said: “Johnson Matthey Battery Systems’ relocation and fantastic new facilities will place them in the city of Milton Keynes, which is at the heart of electrification, and located in close proximity to key automotive customers in the Midlands.