A new, UK-based low-volume electric vehicle manufacturer has been formed, bringing together three established automotive businesses. Watt EV Holdings (Watt Electric Vehicles) combines the talents of the Watt Electric Vehicle Company (WEVC), vehicle R&D and motorsport specialist JSC Automotive and vehicle structures expert Stalcom Automotive Technologies.
With expertise in multiple areas of the specialist vehicle electrification sector, Watt Electric Vehicles will design, engineer and sell specialist EVs. Across two UK sites in the Midlands and Cornwall, the company hopes to manufacture a range of low-volume commercial and passenger electric vehicles. Alongside this, it will offer production, development, engineering and design services to third-parties and OEMs.
Watt Electric Vehicles’ business is based upon a low-investment, low-weight, flexible and scalable cell to chassis e-platform. Known as PACES (Passenger And Commercial EV Skateboard), it features a combination of bespoke aluminum lightweight extrusions and laser-cut and CNC-folded pieces, which interlock and bond together, creating a structure dubbed FlexTech.
Stated to be flexible, scalable, lightweight and cost-effective, PACES has been specifically designed for low volume manufacture. The company says it can be applied to almost any size or shape of EV, from sports cars to buses – across FWD, RWD and AWD layouts – and complies with all ISO regulations and European Small Series Type Approval crash standards. The lithium-ion batteries used in the platform are sourced from a Tier 1 automotive supplier.
As well as designing, engineering and manufacturing its own vehicles based on PACES, Watt Electric Vehicles will look to enable low volume manufacturers of commercial vehicles and cars to go electric without the cost burden of investing in their own specific chassis and/or electrification technology, getting their products to market in accelerated time, cost-effectively.
Paul Faithfull, former director and founder of Potenza Technology has been appointed CEO of the company, while Bob Mustard, founder of Stalcom, will take on the role of CTO. Neil Yates, founder of WEVC and JSC Automotive (and rally car production company Rallyprep), will act as CCO of Watt Electric Vehicles.
With a capacity of 5,000 units per annum, the company’s new manufacturing facility in the West Midlands will be home to its light commercial EV range. The first prototype vehicle has been built and is in testing, and will be unveiled in Q3 2022, with production set to begin in 2024.
The 3.5-metric ton cab and chassis unit will support a wide range of body styles and offer the option of a bespoke body design to facilitate the creation of mission-specific vehicles to precisely meet customers’ individual requirements. A choice of battery capacities and powertrain options, including hydrogen fuel cell, will further bolster customers’ ability to optimize vehicle specifications to fulfil bespoke requirements – be it to facilitate short-range inner-city deliveries or the ability to travel further afield.
Watt Electric Vehicles will also manufacturer premium sports EVs and next-gen passenger EVs, producing its Porsche 356-inspired Coupe in St Columb Major, near Newquay Airport. The first production car to use PACES, the Coupe is a sub-1,000kg rear-wheel-drive fixed-head sports car that combines retro looks with EV technology, featuring a 40kWh battery structurally integrated into the chassis. First customer deliveries will take place later in 2022.
Underlining the scale of Watt Electric Vehicles’ ambition for its passenger and sportscar division, the company will open a new manufacturing facility in Cornwall in 2023, with a capacity of 500 units per annum. It will leverage the highly versatile nature of the PACES e-platform to release a new model every year by unveiling a new ‘top hat’ or body to sit on the same chassis. It will also design, develop and manufacture niche passenger vehicles for third parties.
CCO Yates said, “Amalgamating the expertise, resources and revenue streams of Watt EV Company, JSC Automotive and Stalcom to form a formidable new powerhouse in low-volume vehicle electrification, Watt Electric Vehicles is poised to exploit the burgeoning demand for rapidly scalable niche electric vehicles, for both the passenger car and light commercial vehicle markets, alongside offering next-generation EV technologies and engineering consulting services.
“Combining the company’s in-house intellectual properties with its strategic external Tier 1 supplier partnerships creates a unique advantage within the niche EV electrification sector. Our first light commercial EV, featuring a flexible range of body styles, is currently undergoing intensive development, and is scheduled to enter production at our new manufacturing site in the Midlands in 2024, before scaling up to 5,000 units per year. Watt Electric Vehicles will also deliver a sports coupé with classically inspired design and purist driving appeal underpinned by state-of-the-art EV technology to customers later in 2022.”