February 1, 2018 / 12:04 AM / 4 months ago

UK electric motor maker expands capacity as carmakers go green

LONDON (Reuters) - British electric motor manufacturer YASA said on Thursday it was increasing its production capacity from 2,000 to 100,000 units with a new factory to tap into growing demand from carmakers for greener technologies.

Britain's Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark talks to Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering at the new production facility for Electric motor manufacturer YASA in Oxford, Britain, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Automakers are racing to build greener vehicles and improve charge times in a bid to meet rising customer demand and air quality targets but Britain lacks sufficient manufacturing capacity, an area the government is building up.

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Last year, the government picked a site in central England to house a new automotive battery development facility, which will develop the processes required to manufacture the latest battery advancements.

    On Thursday, YASA, based near the English city of Oxford, said it had raised another 15 million pounds as part of its expansion.

    “Our customers are looking to adopt innovative new technologies such as YASA’s axial-flux electric motors and controllers in order to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding hybrid and pure electric automotive market,” said Chief Executive Chris Harris.

    The firm exports 80 percent of production and has worked with companies including Britain’s two biggest carmakers Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Nissan (7201.T) as well as Aston Martin.

    JLR will decide this year whether to build electric cars in its home market, previously citing factors such as pilot testing and support from science and government as pre-requisites.

    Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison

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