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TRB receives funding to export EV battery components made from organic waste

TRB Lightweight Structures manufactures battery enclosure parts made from recycled plant waste at its U.K. facility, for assembly in the U.S.
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composite battery enclosure for battery electric buses

A rendering of a battery enclosure for a battery-electric vehicle. Source | TRB via the Department for International Trade

Announced on Aug. 12 by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Trade (London, U.K.), TRB Lightweight Structures (TRB, Huntingdon, U.K.) has won a £19 million deal (more than $24.7 million USD) to export electric car battery enclosures made from organic waste to the United States.

The battery enclosures, made from recycled plant waste and molded into shape using high-tech machinery, are reported to be manufactured in the U.K. at a similar cost compared to the same part built with heavier aluminum.

TRB America composites manufacturing headquarters

TRB’s U.S. manufacturing facility in Richmond, Ky., announced in December 2019. Source | TRB 

Via a joint venture with Toyota Tsusho America (New York, N.Y., U.S.), the enclosures will be shipped from TRB’s U.K. headquarters and assembled at the company's new manufacturing facility in Richmond, Ky., U.S. The finished products will then be supplied to a Fortune 500 global engine producer.

“Sustainability is important to us and we are passionate about developing lightweight solutions for transportation, which will make vehicles more efficient and reduce CO2 emissions,” says Andrew Dugmore, president at TRB Group. “Since setting up in the U.S., interest has been high, and we are negotiating potential multi-million-pound deals with other clients. The U.K. and U.S. trading relationship goes back decades and we hope that any new free trade agreement will make trading with the U.S. easier for us.”

According to the Department for International Trade, TRB started exporting in 2015 with 30% of its turnover attributed to exports. The company plans to increase this to 70% by 2021, and the Department for International Trade says it continues to provide financial and logistical expansion support, including by making introductions to the Kentucky Cabinet of Economic Development.

“More trade and investment is crucial to the economic recovery from coronavirus, and deals like this will help deliver that,” says Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary at the Department for International Trade. “The U.S. is our biggest single trading partner and I hope our ongoing trade talks will lead to a free trade agreement that will cut red tape for U.K. businesses.”

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