Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), an offshoot and former sister company of the British Formula 1 team, has joined forces with fellow Oxfordshire-based firm OXIS Energy to produce a world-first battery system that will be fitted to an all-new 40ft electric luxury boat.

The innovative setup will be fitted to a craft designed by Singapore's Yachts de Luxe (YdL), designed by the renowned boat designer Jean Jacques Coste, making the vehicle the first-ever luxury boat to be powered by Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) cell and battery systems technology.

Initial aims are for the boat to have a range of 70-100 nautical miles at cruising speed.

WAE will put the the state-of-the-art 400 kWh battery system using ultra-light, high-power/high energy density Li-S cells provided by OXIS Energy. WAE will also produce the battery management system (BMS) with everything being put together at its dedicated battery facility in Grove.

"We’re extremely proud to be involved in this exciting initiative which we believe showcases the way in which the UK is positioning itself to be at the forefront of this emerging market," said Craig Wilson, managing director of WAE. "In addition, the application has relevance for a number of additional sectors including aerospace, aviation, urban air mobility, transportation and defence." 

The technology is nothing new to WAE, which supplied the batteries for the inaugural Formula E season in 2014-15.

"As an organisation, WAE has huge expertise in the design, development and assembly of advanced battery systems, including a number of applications in the highly demanding world of motorsport," said Iain Wight, director of business development at WAE. "These lightweight, high performance electrification skills have also been applied to other sectors and we are looking forward to working with OXIS Energy to further explore the potential in the marine sector."

Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO of OXIS Energy, added: "Williams has a significant level of battery technology expertise and skills across the range of vehicle applications.

"This expertise, combined with OXIS’s world leading Centre of Expertise in Lithium Sulfur, gives vehicle manufacturers, on land, sea and in the air the confidence to engage with our next generation of rechargeable battery technology, with the necessary assurance to achieve their desired mission profile, at a high level of performance and safety – far in excess than what current technology offers."