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Williams Advanced Engineering electrifies fighter jet, mining truck and yacht

Joseph Flaig

The world's largest electrified mining truck, the future fighter jet and the M/Y Galaxy of Happiness, designed by Jean Jacques Coste (Yacht image credit: Courtesy of Fraser Yachts)
The world's largest electrified mining truck, the future fighter jet and the M/Y Galaxy of Happiness, designed by Jean Jacques Coste (Yacht image credit: Courtesy of Fraser Yachts)

Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) is transforming modern motorsport – but its cutting-edge electrification and lightweight technology will have a far wider impact.

Read more: Extreme electrification as Williams Advanced Engineering goes off road

Electric powertrains and new, lightweight materials are increasingly important across all sectors as companies aim for 'net zero'. Here are three projects utilising WAE's innovative approach. 

The world’s largest electrified mining truck

Aiming to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by 30% by 2030, mining firm Anglo American picked WAE to develop the world’s largest electrified mining truck. 

The truck will be powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell module paired with a high-power lithium-ion battery system from WAE. As in the electric yacht project with Oxis (below), the system will be distributed around the vehicle in about 10 blocks. Overall, the high-voltage power distribution unit will provide more than 1,000kWh of energy storage. 

The future fighter jet 

WAE has joined forces with BAE Systems to explore how battery management and cooling technologies could boost efficiency and performance gains in future combat aircraft. 

The project aims to increase use of on-board electric controllers, replacing some hydraulic systems to improve engine efficiency and effectiveness. A BMS will oversee the distributed battery system, providing a blend of long-duration energy storage and short-term power delivery. 

The luxury electric yacht

WAE is working with fellow Oxfordshire firm Oxis Energy on a 400kW lithium-sulphur battery system for a 12m luxury yacht. 

“The key advantages of lithium sulphur are that it’s got a better gravimetric energy density, so more storage per mass,” says WAE technical director Paul McNamara. “Generally, it’s got a little bit of a penalty on volume. So the storage per volume is a bit lower than a comparable lithium-ion cell.”

Instead of having one large, heavy battery block, the Oxis cells will be distributed around the boat and controlled by a WAE battery management system. The approach allows for better structural design and weight distribution in the yacht, which has a targeted range of 130-185km.

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