Hethel company receives £15m investment

06:45 20 June 2022

An innovative company finding new uses for end-of-life electric car batteries is investing millions of pounds into its Norfolk site.

Connected Energy has received a £15million investment, part of which intends to use the upgrade of its ‘tech centre’ in Hethel, just south of Norwich.

The company specializes in recovering old batteries from electric vehicles once they have deteriorated and reusing them for other energy uses.

Matthew Lumsden, its CEO, said the money would be used to increase Hethel’s 15-person workforce by 10 over the next year.

Tania Saxby, Connected Energy Project Manager, checks a component of a battery storage system
– Credit: Connected Energy

It will also be used to “invest in more equipment to allow us to integrate more batteries and to evolve our technology”.

The company specializes in “second life batteries”.

It’s about removing them from electric cars once they’ve degraded by 25pc and are no longer usable in vehicles.

Thanks to the expertise of engineers at its Hethel site, the batteries are then reprogrammed and placed in a unit capable of storing the energy created by other renewable energy sources, such as solar panels.

It has made deals with several automakers, including Renault and Volvo, to use their batteries.

Connected Energy Second Life Battery Units

Electric vehicle batteries are placed in units and can store energy created from renewables
– Credit: Connected Energy

Connected Energy is headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, but its Hethel center is described as the ‘brain’ of the business, where key software engineering and development takes place.

It already has 16 systems operating across Europe in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as the UK, including one at Suffolk County Council’s archive center in Ipswich.

A spokesman for Connected Energy confirmed it had other deals in the works, but was unable to say whether there would be any in Norfolk.

The £15m comes from five investors – Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc, Hinduja Group, Mercuria, OurCrowd and Volvo Energy.

Joachim Rosenberg, President of Volvo Energy, said: “This forward-looking investment aims to facilitate the scale-up of second-life battery energy storage systems and further secure circular business opportunities for next ramp-up of second-life battery returns from the Volvo Group. .”

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