UK battery maker targets niche OEMs

New start-up aims to aid the country’s low-volume producers with electrification

UK battery maker targets niche OEMs
The West Midlands is the UK's automotive heartland, including JLR's complex at Gaydon

A new battery manufacturer Volklec has launched in the UK’s West Midlands automotive heartland aimed at serving the specific electrification needs of the country’s industry. And this means an initial focus on a “diverse array of small volume and niche vehicle manufacturers”.

The firm, which is based in Coventry, aims to manufacture sustainable batteries for on-road, off-highway and racetrack vehicles.

“Volklec has been many months and significant investment in the making, established to help the UK’s decarbonisation drive. As a proud investment in the UK, our initial focus is on the automotive industry, providing security of supply to the sector, then we intend to look at the broader electrification markets as well,” says founder Imran Khatri.

Khatri is also the chief operating officer of Frontive, a sustainability-focused investment firm. Prior to that, according to his profile on business networking site LinkedIn, he has worked in management consultancy and in banking payments.

His profile does not record any experience in the battery or automotive sectors. Frontive does, though, count among its investment portfolio Lina Energy, a spin-off from the UK’s Lancaster University focused on sodium-metal-chloride batteries in the energy storage space, and Japanese EV charging and energy storage firm Powerx, as well as in liquid fuel supply businesses in the UK and Japan.


Volklec will work with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), the country’s national manufacturing development facility, which provides battery manufacturing scale-up and skills. “We are delighted to welcome Volklec to UKBIC and to become their launch base here in the heart of the UK automotive industry,” says UKBIC managing director Sean Gilgunn.

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“Our purpose-built facility is where businesses can develop their battery manufacturing processes at the scale they need to move to industrial production. This agreement marks the start of Volklec’s journey to create a battery with the potential to scale up to significant volumes in the coming years. Manufacturing cells at volume is vital to ensuring the UK prospers from the energy transition towards Net Zero,” he continues.

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