Dr Dave Sandells, Hyperdrive Innovation; Cllr Michael Mordey, Sunderland City Council; Stephen Irish, hyperdrive Innovation.
Dr Dave Sandells, Hyperdrive Innovation; Cllr Michael Mordey, Sunderland City Council; Stephen Irish, hyperdrive Innovation.
Nick Hill

Sunderland battery tech firm in hyperdrive to hit £10m turnover mark

Hyperdrive Innovation, the Sunderland-based battery technology firm, is set to hit the £10m turnover mark this year.

A further two-fold annual turnover increase in the next two years is also expected; potentially taking the firm past £20m by 2020.

Hyperdrive, which employs 40 people at its Sunderland HQ, makes battery packs for a wide range of electric vehicles including off-highway vehicles, municipal vehicles and autonomous and industrial machines.

The company has worked with organisations on projects including airport pushback tractors, autonomous passenger shuttles being adopted at major transport hubs, construction machines and delivery vehicles, mobile energy storage and airport ground power at a major European airport.

Hyperdrive’s technology is also used in battery energy storage systems – enabling power generated by solar panels, for example, to be stored and used when required.

One of several contributors to the firm’s performance this year is the increase in demand from the manufacturing sector.

The Asian market is also proving particularly fruitful for the company. Earlier this year, Hyperdrive signed a deal worth around £40m to enable Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxlink Group to produce and sell Hyperdrive’s modular battery pack across Asia.

This came after Hyperdrive secured a global supply agreement to be one of the first companies to incorporate Nissan’s lithium-ion NMC Polymer cells technology into its high-performance battery systems.

In addition, a residential energy storage trial, connecting solar panels, smart meters and Hyperdrive’s energy storage technology, is currently underway in the UK. Its aim is to enable residents to use solar power generated during the day, in the evening, when energy demand peaks, rather than feeding it back to the national grid for feed-in tariff payments.

Hyperdrive’s growth has been supported by Sunderland City Council. The authority helped the company secure its base in the Future Technology Centre near Nissan’s Sunderland plant.

The council has also assisted in organising overseas trade missions and in generating and protecting its intellectual property.

Cllr Michael Mordey, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Hyperdrive is a shining example of Sunderland’s world class status in automotive, advanced manufacturing and knowledge economy. Its ongoing success will bring new opportunities and highly skilled jobs here, while solving the world’s energy and environmental challenges. We will continue to support this exciting company as its global presence grows.”

Hyperdrive has appointed a new chief technology officer (CTO) to help to facilitate its ongoing expansion.

Dr Dave Sandells, previously employed by Dyson, Williams F1, GKN and electric vehicles firm Sevcon, has engineering experience in power electronics, electric vehicles and electrification technologies.

Stephen Irish, commercial managing director of hyperdrive, said: “Since we launched six years ago, we have put a lot of effort into developing our new products and getting the production facility up to speed.

“We are now at the scaling up stage, where we are primarily selling the products and helping customers to adopt them into their own products. The rate of growth we are expecting is, therefore, quite substantial.

“Of course, we still have a considerable research and development programme. The key driver here is to continue to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the battery technology. There are lots of markets we have been involved in that will be increasingly electrified over the next few years so a lot of our work will be helping customers to electrify their products.”

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