Innovation, excitement, youth, new beginnings: yes, the several themes of our September news feel somewhat at odds with the start of the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but who cares when the news is this good? We’re especially pleased that this news features further success stories for two of our very own clients, with whom we enjoy fantastic and highly collaborative relationships. Read on…and happy Autumn!
Cenex LCV at a glance
This year’s Cenex LCV, held on September 22-23rd, was once again a hive of key players and exhibitors in the Low Carbon Vehicle sector, with discussions including the transition to zero emission vehicles, the skills challenge on the road to electrification, the challenges of rapid charging hubs, decarbonising heavy duty vehicles and analyses of vehicle-to-grid technology.
Read more about it: cenex-lcv.co.uk
Polestar’s $20bn deal
The outstanding Polestar brand continues to enjoy an upward trajectory; in addition to doubling its R&D team, the Swedish EV manufacturer is to go public by merging with a US-listed blank-cheque firm backed by billionaire Alec Gores and Gugenheim Partners investment bank (Gores Guggenheim) releasing cash proceeds of over $1bn.
Polestar delivered about 10,000 cars globally in 2021 and expects this to rise to about 290,000 vehicles per year by 2025, with an expected revenue of over $3bn by 2022. Its listing plan comes as automakers shift their focus to environmentally-friendly vehicles amid rising pressure from lawmakers and investors concerned about climate change.
Polestar has the advantage of existing production lines provided by backers Volvo and Geely, meaning it can focus on developing technology without needing to invest capital into building production facilities. We’re hugely proud to work with Polestar. Contact us to discuss careers there.
Aston Martin’s new £200m F1 factory
A ceremonial “breaking-ground” ceremony has taken place on the plot of Aston Martin’s new factory and wind tunnel site in Northamptonshire, to mark the beginning of an 18-month construction and installation phase for the next headquarters of the successful Formula One Team.
The 400,000 square-foot site was designed by Ridge and Partners LLP, and will be constructed across the road from the world-renowned Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit. It will contain three buildings: one to house the team’s design, manufacturing and marketing resource, a second to house a brand-new wind tunnel and a third which will repurpose existing factory premises into a central hub for logistics and staff amenities.
This will be the first all-new F1 factory in the UK since McLaren’s Technology Centre opened in Woking in 2004, a sign of Executive Chairman Lance Stroll’s ambition for the brand to maintain its place against increasingly stiff competition.
Manufacturing & Tech
Will Evolito transform aerospace?
Oxford-based Evolito, a company that develops and manufactures electric motors and power electronics for aerospace applications, has launched as a privately-owned business. The company is a spin-out of YASA, the world’s leading pioneer of automotive axial-flux electric motors, and intends to commercialise the next-generation electric motor technology of YASA and IP for the fast-growing aerospace market.
Evolito’s axial-flux motor has a unique segmented topology and novel cooling systems that are more robust than other electric motors systems, making them ideally suited to aerospace applications. With its axial-flux technology described as a revolutionary new approach in the aerospace industry, the firm could enable the sector to leave behind legacy electric motor technology that has been holding the market back.
Volta Trucks secures €37 million funding
Leading full-electric commercial vehicle brand Volta Trucks has secured €37 million of series B Funding as pre-orders pass 2,500 units and a value of over €600m.
The funding round was led by Luxor Capital, which manages more than $8 billion in assets and has made investments into many automotive and alternative energy companies. Many existing investors also extended their investments, a mark of their endorsement of Volta’s strategy and potential, with original seed investor Byggmästare Anders J Ahlström of Stockholm also adding to its investment.
First-time investor Proterra has been selected as battery supplier for the Volta Zero. Agility, a leading provider of supply chain services, innovation and investment, also became a first-time investor in Volta Trucks, part of its broader strategy of investing in supply chain sustainability and resilience.
We’re delighted to work with Volta – see our partner page for more information.
Exec & Leaders
Lotus welcomes Peter Horbury
Globally-renowned designer Peter Horbury has joined Group Lotus as Senior Vice President of Design. He will assume global oversight for design across the growing Lotus portfolio, including cars and the engineering consultancy.
Mr Horbury said: “…I have watched very fondly as the Vision80 plan has started to come to fruition (and am delighted) to now have the opportunity to further support that vision, working closely with the team to deliver a new generation of global Lotus products and to expand the Lotus design network around the world.”
Vision80 is the multi-faceted and long-term business transformation strategy that brings together a wide range of projects and activities to revolutionise Group Lotus.
Bentley’s bigger-ever intake of apprentices and graduates
For some time now we’ve been quietly expecting a rise in graduate and apprentice hires amongst tech and engineering employers, so it’s great to see luxury marque Bentley welcoming its biggest-ever intake as 112 new recruits join the brand’s 4000-strong, Crewe-based workforce.
As part of a phased intake, 39 apprentices and 39 undergraduates started their Bentley careers in the first two weeks of September, with 14 Graduates to follow in October. They will work across Engineering, Production, Marketing and Communications, Project Management, Human Resources and Digital and IT. A further 20 apprentices joined the brand earlier this year.
As part of Bentley’s commitment to its Beyond100 strategy, which will see it aim to become a global leader in sustainable luxury mobility, a third of the trainees will work exclusively on digital innovation.