Redditch manufacturer secures Innovate UK funding for zero-emissions powertrain

Photo shows: A Greenmech Chipper
Solid State GreenMech chipper

Solid State plc, the Redditch-based manufacturer of computing products, and supplier of electronic and opto-electronic components, has announced that its manufacturing division, Steatite, has secured funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to develop its battery powertrain  for non-road mobile machinery under its Sustainable Innovation Fund initiative.

The company’s Power business unit will develop a modular battery pack with a tailored battery management system which will be combined with a British-sourced bespoke electric motor, providing a scalable, modular, zero emission powertrain.

The electric powertrain will allow conversion of internal combustion engine powered machinery to a clean, powerful and reliable drive system

It will initially be installed in a woodchipper manufactured by GreenMech Ltd, Europe’s leading woodchipper manufacturer, which is located in Alcester, Warwickshire, with the aim to be the first UK-manufactured zero emission industrial woodchipper. The initial development process is expected to take three months.

In the longer term, it is intended that the 100 per cent UK designed and manufactured off-the-shelf powertrain using scalable modular batteries will be available for a multitude of light industrial plant equipment applications.

Matthew Richards, Steatite’s Managing Director, said: “With the UK government’s commitment to achieving a net zero carbon emission economy by 2050, many highly polluting sectors are now falling under the spotlight – such as small plant equipment.

“The move from fossil fuels to electric battery power will render these machines carbon neutral, aiding the reduction in pollution, particularly within the urban environment where many of these machines are operated. 

“Steatite is once again driving world-class British innovation and playing its part in the net zero goal. The Innovate UK involvement has enabled us to accelerate our research and development in this sector supporting British jobs.”

Innovate UK Executive Chair, Dr Ian Campbell, added: “In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy.

“Steatite’s zero-emission powertrain solution for non-road mobile machinery project, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.”