Ex-Aston Martin CEO Palmer joins British battery sensor maker Brill

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) – Former Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has joined Brill Power as chairman to help the British battery sensor maker build its business with major automakers and the energy storage industry, the company said on Tuesday.

Brill Power is a spin-out from Oxford University and has developed sensors that can monitor and manage individual cells in electric vehicle (EV) battery packs.

This overcomes a core problem for EVs, where performance is determined by the weakest cell in any battery pack, and can extend a battery pack’s range and life by 60%, Palmer said.

The technology can also be used to determine a used EV battery’s health and allow prospective buyers to judge how long the vehicle might realistically last, Palmer told Reuters.

Brill Power’s technology is currently in tests in one upcoming electric model that could be on the road in two years and the company is talking to a number of automakers about a range of affordable EVs and high-performance models.

“The goal here is basically to take this group of very smart individuals and give them a little bit of guidance in the commercial world,” Palmer said of his new role at Brill Power, which raised $10.5 million last year to scale up its operations.

Palmer, who oversaw the launch of the Leaf EV over a decade ago while chief operating officer at Nissan, is also currently interim CEO at British EV charger company Pod Point and chairman of Slovak battery startup Inobat.

(Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Alexander Smith)