Sunderland-based lithium-ion battery pack manufacturer receives Queens Award for Enterprise for excellence in Innovation. The award follows an unprecedented year of growth for Hyperdrive as demand for electrification skyrockets in the race to Net Zero.
Hyperdrive Innovation, the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery technology, has today been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, recognising the company for its excellence in Innovation, following a period of rapid growth as demand for electrification soars.
In 2019, Hyperdrive opened the largest independent battery manufacturing facility in the UK, HYVE, capable of producing 30,000 battery packs each year. The Sunderland site promotes world-class UK engineering and manufacturing and provides high skilled green jobs for the region.
Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, recognising British companies excelling at international trade, innovation or sustainable development.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation has been awarded to the Sunderland based firm, founded in 2012 and employing 70 people, for its HY Energy Battery Pack – a zero emission alternative to the internal combustion engine that is already decarbonising vehicles across a wide range of industries, including rail, construction, material handling, off highway vehicles such as electric excavators and forklift trucks, and stationary / portable energy storage.
The award comes at a time of rapid growth for Hyperdrive as global demand for battery technology takes off. In the last few years alone, the company has been supporting some to the world’s most recognisable brands to decarbonise key sectors of the world’s economy. Partners include JCB, Hitachi Rail and the world’s largest online grocery retailer.
Chris Pennison, CEO of Hyperdrive, said: “Receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is testament to the hard work and effort of the Hyperdrive team over recent years. We are at an inflection point in our growth as demand for innovative battery technology is increasing more than ever.”
“Our cutting-edge battery packs provide a genuine battery power alternative to the internal combustion engine and are being deployed worldwide to support a wide range of industries to electrify, reduce operating costs and slash emissions.”
Patrick Melia, Chief Executive Sunderland City Council, said: “This is excellent news and fitting recognition of the exceptional innovation and growth achieved by Hyperdrive Innovation as a business from the outset. Hyperdrive have been consistent since start-up in their commitment both to high quality research and development and to its commercial application and are making a very significant contribution to the electrification of advanced manufacturing from their base here in Sunderland. Electrification is critical to a net zero economy and Hyperdrive are an excellent example of the strength and depth of the advanced manufacturing sector in Sunderland and the wider North East region and its electrification.”
Hyperdrive’s HY Energy Battery Pack was recognised for its unique and unrivalled advantages over its competitors, including its high energy density – enabling more energy in less space and at a lower weight, its ability to operate in a range of environments and its modular design – a scalable solution that is easy to integrate into multiple application types.
Last year, Hyperdrive and Hitachi Rail signed an exclusive agreement to develop battery packs to power zero-emission trains and create a battery hub in the North East. Battery powered trains produce no greenhouse gases (GHG), no air pollution and are far quieter, offering passengers cleaner air in stations, less noise disruption and a carbon-free way to travel. Hitachi Rail expects the potential market for Hyperdrive’s battery technology to be over 400 trains.
Hitachi Rail and Hyperdrive are also working together alongside Evershot Rail to develop tri-mode hybrid trains, using batteries to supplement diesel engines, cutting emissions by more than 20%. The hybrid trains will be initially deployed along Great Western Rail’s London to Penzance route, with the ambition to create a fully electric battery train that can travel the full journey by the late 2040s, in line with the UK’s 2050 net zero emissions target.
Hyperdrive’s battery packs also enabled JCB to develop the world’s first electric digger, in response to huge demand on the industry to electrify and meet tightening emissions and air quality legislation. With the construction industry accounting for approximately 40% of total UK GHG emissions, electrifying construction equipment is crucial for the UK to reach net zero targets.
Stephen Irish, Hyperdrive Founder and Director of Business Innovation added: “We’re extremely proud to receive the Queens award and for what we’ve achieved since starting the business, working closely with our customers to deliver world leading zero emissions electrified solutions to a range of industries”
In 2019 and 2020, Hyperdrive was named in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list as one of the fastest growing British tech firms and in March 2021, the Financial Times listed Hyperdrive as one of Europe’s 1,000 fastest growing companies. In the 2020 to 2021 financial year, the Hyperdrive’s turnover almost doubled to £14.5m and the company expects to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years in response to growing demand for its battery solutions across the world.
 Hitachi – Hitachi Rail and Hyperdrive are working together on developing electric diesel hybrid trains, using batteries to supplement diesel engines, cutting emissions by more than 20% and dramatically reducing noise pollution.