This is a critical sector to drive as transport is the UK’s largest carbon emitter, accounting for more than 25% of emissions.
“We urgently need sustainable transport businesses to grow and scale to reach Net Zero,” WMG’s Innovation Manager James Black tells Zag Daily.
“Our Clean Transport Accelerator combines access to WMG’s world-leading researchers and facilities, with NatWest’s commercial expertise.”
During the six-month programme, SMEs can benefit from NatWest’s lessons in entering new markets, developing scalable infrastructure, and attracting growth funding, while also understanding how to adopt new technologies, source materials and build prototypes with WMG.
Flux Aviation, Moonbility and The Structural Battery Company are three such startups reaping the benefits of the accelerator having joined the programme in September.
What: Flux Aviation is developing high performance electric motors and batteries to power next-generation electric aircraft. Compatible with many existing aircraft types, its battery-electric powertrains will enable zero emission aviation from 2-seat trainer aircrafts to 50-seat regional airliners.
Why it matters: “Flux Aviation is building a future for aviation that is sustainable, quiet and affordable,” Co-founder and CEO Radovan Gallo tells Zag Daily.
Accelerator learnings: “NatWest’s commercial experience has helped us build a strong foundation for the business, while WMG supported us in conducting extensive testing with the use of their facilities. With this we have been able to demonstrate our next-generation battery pack architecture and fast-track our product development.”
What: Railway operators can predict, pre-empt and prioritise when things go wrong with Moobility’s AI software.
The platform identifies potential issues with various assets such as overhead lines, tracks, bridges, rolling stock and station facilities. It also offers a line of intelligent communication between stakeholders to address things like staff scheduling, closing lines and delegating jobs to contractors.
Why it matters: The prediction of asset failures enables operators to evaluate the urgency of potential problems and minimise their downtime. As well as offering insight into the costs of the repair, Moonbility’s asset impact technology also prioritises maintenance based on the collective delay they would cause to passengers, reducing the impacts of disruption.
Accelerator learnings: “Discussing strategic approaches in the accelerator’s workshops shifted our focus to rebranding our USP,” Co-founder and CEO Andre Wang tells Zag. “This has generated an increasing number of conversations with potential investors and industry stakeholders.”
The Structural Battery Company
What: Founded from a master’s thesis in 2022, The Structural Battery Company designs and builds structural batteries for electric vehicles. Mimicking the form of a sandwich, the core material is made from cylindrical cells and the design is more than three times stronger than a steel trussed frame equivalent.
Why it matters: “Structural Batteries are safer, lighter and stronger than conventional battery packs,” said Founder and Director John Moffat. The battery pack’s design mitigates thermal runaway between the cells and the modules can easily be located for quick repairs. Assembled in accordance with each vehicle’s structure, the batteries are facilitating the transition to net zero while also optimising the vehicle’s performance.
Accelerator learnings: “Since joining the accelerator, we have pushed forward with our ‘Route to Market’ and Technical Development. As engineers, sales and marketing is the terrifying part as there are no Sales or Marketeers amongst us. But ask us about the technology and you can’t keep us quiet.
“By extending their networks to us, we have identified potential customers who may be interested to learn about, or invest in, our innovative structural battery technology.”