PROJECT: APC 4 battery project

PROJECT VALUE: £19 million with a £9.5m grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Challenge: Develop, deliver and manage a project which will bring academic and industrial research together to deliver productivity improvements at Nissan Manufacturing UK’s battery plant in Sunderland. The £19 million project set out to develop innovative processes and techniques for new higher energy density batteries.

What we did: The project brought together a consortia of academic and technology partners to investigate areas of EV battery development. Following a successful application to the APC, lead organisation NMUK and project partners were awarded funding for an APC 4 project that saw the development of a 40kWh pilot line for EV battery cells at Nissan, techniques to reduce manufacturing time and cost, in-line fault detection and visual fault detection studies, and a skills development and training programme.

The project also saw the creation of 99 jobs and safeguarding over 300 skilled jobs.

Alongside this, the project also supported the creation of a semi-automated pilot line at UK SME, Hyperdrive. The project made it possible for Nissan to develop their 3rd party supply market, initially making their product available to SME Hyperdrive, to access Nissan developed battery packs to create a scalable modular battery system for non-competing applications such as bus, truck, and other industrial applications.

The project was a collaboration between Nissan, Hyperdrive, Newcastle University, Warwick Manufacturing Group and ZCF, who had the overall responsibility for the administering of the programme.

As well as coordinating the successful delivery of the APC 4 project, ZCF developed a training programme capturing knowledge and key processes identified as part of this project, to support and further enhance the manufacturing capabilities in the industry.

The team have been directly involved in the dissemination activities around the project exploiting the results and learning through events, public speaking in the UK and abroad, and our LCV industry partners.

The result:

The project commenced in February 2016 and concluded at the end of January 2018.

Created: over 99 jobs

Safeguarded: 300

Outputs: a new 40kWh product / a bespoke training programme developed by ZCF for Nissan which can be available for other organisations in battery development and manufacturing.


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