Battery technology company Britishvolt has passed essential industry standard battery cell safety tests UN38.3.
The Northumberland-based company said it 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 company said. Britishvolt selected UK-based lithium-ion battery testing service provider AIS, which cleared the cells after safety testing, a key metric in battery cell manufacturing.
Dr Allan Paterson, Chief Technical Officer, Britishvolt, said: “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.”
The company said it 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.
In order to be safe for transportation, lithium-ion cells must not show any signs of leak, rupture, disassembly 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 to ensure that cells meet the required safety standards.
“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.
The company said it has signed memorandums of understanding with four separate OEMs, including Lotus and Aston Martin, which have cumulative demand in exceeding 6GWh in 2025, as well as a joint development agreement with one. The stage is set for the full 38GWh factory capacity that will be supplied annually from its Gigaplant site in Northumberland.
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.