Hyperdrive Innovation

Hyperdrive Innovation provides system wide solutions to challenging applications for electric vehicles and battery energy storage.

Hyperdrive Innovation came to Design Network North and RTC for support in developing their own brand product – intelligent lithium-ion batteries that incorporates Nissan LEAF cell technology. Hyperdrive had previously developed bespoke solutions to customers, and had little experience in designing and branding a commercial product for the mass market.

Design Network North recommended Newcastle-based industrial design agency Octo Design, to design and develop their ideas. Design Network North is part of RTC North’s new programme called ‘Designing Better Business’ – launched in 2016 – which provides support to north east businesses. Through ‘Designing Better Business’, RTC were also able to provide financial support and part-fund the project between Hyperdrive and their chosen designer.

The batteries had to be modular, flexible, designed for easy assembly and designed with the manufacturer in mind. They also had to be able to adapt to a wide range of applications and uses.

Hyperdrive had an urgent need for a concept, and Octo were able to turn around a prototype very quickly. Working with Octo on a range of diverse projects from the development of the product from concept to manufacture, the creation of new Value Propositions and the development of Hyperdrive’s brand, offer and messaging, Hyperdrive are now taking the lithium-ion batteries into production.

Hyperdrive currently have functional prototypes in vehicles and in energy storage systems – with plans to commercially launch and go into series production in summer 2017.

Dan Martin, Director at Octo Design said: “From the initial introduction to Hyperdrive through Design Network North, it was evident that Hyperdrive were an ambitious company who wanted to benefit from engaging with a design partner on both a strategy and delivery. 

“This openness and trust enabled us to resolve their complex requirements; moving the solution from a standalone 48v power pack into a versatile technology platform that underpins the premium market offer of service, product and fulfilment that we crafted together.”

Stephen Irish, MD at Hyperdrive Innovation said: “Making the Nissan LEAF cell technology available to new product developers will increase the wider uptake of on and off-highway EV, and battery energy storage.

“The ability to acquire world-leading technology and engineering support via Hyperdrive gives UK manufacturers a significant head start in the race to deliver commercially successful electric vehicles and increased flexibility when it comes to the electricity grid and battery energy storage.

“The company also had assistance from RTC North, which helped the company in securing ERDF funding towards the industrial design costs within the project”


Design Network North is part of RTC’s new programme called ‘Designing Better Business’ – launched in 2016 - which will provide support for north east businesses looking to continue to innovate and design better world leading products.

RTC was founded in 1989 with the sole purpose of helping businesses innovate and create new higher value products. Today, the business operates out of offices in Sunderland, Gateshead, Leeds and Daresbury and specialises in helping companies develop new products, embed new skills through training and access funding for innovation.
Designing Better Business’ is part funded by European Regional Development Fund, as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.