Silverstone location giving battery specialist Danecca confidence for future
04 December 2018
Danecca has become the latest vehicle electrification company to locate to Silverstone Park and, although still at the ‘start-up’ stage, it already has grand ambitions for the future…
The business is run by South African couple Danson and Rebecca Joseph – Danson was previously responsible for electric vehicle batteries at Jaguar Land Rover.
This included design, development, manufacture and implementation for JLR’s flagship I-PACE model…
Swiftly, high end specialist equipment – cell tester, thermal chamber, small pack and module tester and terminal welders – have been installed in Danecca’s 2250 sq ft office and workshop.
This enables it to:
• Test battery cells to select the correct cell for individual applications
• Engineer and develop a product to specific customer requirements
• Manufacturer that product for the customer
Within three months Danecca has landed its first significant contract and is now responsible for battery development and powertrain integration of Swedish electric car company Uniti’s new One model which will be manufactured at a ground-breaking digitalised production plant at Silverstone Park.
It is also hopeful of being awarded a contract with a niche vehicle manufacturer for a new ‘hypercar’ project, and has been conducting meetings with potential customers in Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the USA.
But commented Danson: “While my background is predominantly automotive I want our offering to be more than automotive – to include motorsport, trucks and stationary applications as well.”
One of the key reasons for Danecca locating at Silverstone Park was estate developer MEPC’s flexible approach when it comes to property solutions for businesses.
“We wanted a location with an element of prestige and Silverstone satisfies that immediately,” continued Danson.
“But a really big thing for us was the option to expand on site. Having the ability to flex the property to meet our needs is phenomenally important.
“We looked at other potential sites but no-one else is thinking like this. Now we’re even in a position where we can think about taking one unit specifically for one area of development or one client’s project.
“Silverstone Park gives us the ability, with some foresight, to expand without losing location.”
Danson is also confident that the combined experience of the Danecca team means it is in a strong position to succeed in a world that is becoming ever reliant on electrics and software development.
Indeed, prior to his work for JLR he had worked for National Grid, assessing power quality for wind farms, and, prior to that, in electrification on mining projects in his native South Africa!
He said: “If you come from an automotive-only background your focus tends to be on automotive only and that can actually stymie your focus… I think it is the same with motorsport.
“There are seven of us currently at Danecca – all mechanical and/or electrical engineers, and from different backgrounds, so we have different ways of thinking which helps us to think in terms of disruptive tech in industry and ultimately will help us to achieve our goals.
“Also by being a smaller company we can work faster – we don’t have the bureaucracy of larger organisations.”
He added: “This is our first time doing businesses seriously, with everything on the line. But last year, when I was still at JLR, I saw the writing on the wall. We had to make the move and start following our ambitions. If we had waited for two more years say, then I think we would have missed the boat.
“Running a business adds another level of stress but we’re enjoying the new opportunities to network and discover more about individual company’s needs. We have such a great combination of expertise and experience in-house that I think we are already making a real difference to the companies we are working with.”