A new consortium, led by the UK arm of global aluminum product manufacturer Constellium, will invest £15m (US$18.3m) into the development of structural aluminum battery enclosures. The recent announcement could aid future widespread public adoption of EVs through cost reduction.
“Taking advantage of Constellium’s high-strength HSA6 extrusion alloys and new manufacturing concepts, we expect these battery enclosures to provide auto makers with unparalleled design freedom and modularity to optimize costs as they transition to vehicle electrification,” said Paul Warton, president of the company’s automotive structures and industry business unit.
The company says that thanks to adaptable production cells, the new battery enclosure manufacturing system will be designed to adapt to changing production volumes, providing scalability as volumes increase.
The company will design and produce the aluminum extrusions for the project at its University Technology Center (UTC) at Brunel University, London, which opened in 2016 as a dedicated center of excellence for developing and testing aluminum extrusions and prototype components at scale.
Furthermore, it says a new application center will be created in the UK for the company and its partners to provide full-scale prototypes to auto makers, and to refine production methods for advanced manufacturing. The ALIVE (Aluminium Intensive Vehicle Enclosures) project is scheduled to kick off in July and is expected to deliver its first prototypes at the end of 2021.