TRB Lightweight Structures (TRB) has won a £19m deal to export electric car battery parts made from organic waste to the United States.
The strong components, which are made from recycled plant waste and moulded into shape using high-tech machinery, are manufactured in the UK at a similar cost to heavier aluminium.
The joint venture with Toyota Tsusho America will see the enclosures shipped from TRB’s Cambridgeshire headquarters and assembled at a new manufacturing facility in Richmond, Kentucky. The finished products will then be supplied to a Fortune 500 global engine producer.
Andrew Dugmore, President at TRB said: “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.
“Since setting up in the US, interest has been high, and we are negotiating potential multi-million-pound deals with other clients. The UK and US trading relationship goes back decades and we hope that any new free trade agreement will make trading with the US easier for us.”
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 continues to provide financial and logistical expansion support, including by making introductions to the Kentucky Cabinet of Economic Development.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss said: “To see British companies like TRB Lightweight Structures trading with the US demonstrates the international demand for UK innovation and manufacturing. More trade and investment is crucial to the economic recovery from coronavirus, and deals like this will help deliver that.
“The US 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 UK businesses.”
Government analysis shows that the East of England’s economy is estimated to grow by up to £345m because of a future UK-US free trade agreement. The US is the East of England’s largest export market, accounting for 15% of the region’s goods exports in 2019.