Britishvolt to build UK battery ‘gigaplant’ with £100m government backing

EV battery pioneer Britishvolt (BV) has announced today (21.1.22) that it is moving forward with its plans for its first full-scale electric-vehicle ‘gigaplant’ in Blyth, Northumberland, with a state-assisted project that is receiving £100m from the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

The project will create 3,000 jobs locally, plus thousands more in the wider supply chain and and when completed the factory will build enough cells each year to power more than 300,000 electric vehicles.

At the same time as its announcement, BV also revealed that Tritax and abrdn are becoming its partner to fund the build of the project, shell and core, as well as to develop the associated supplier park. Tritax is the leading investor in UK and European logistics real estate and is joining BV in partnership with abrdn’s global real assets and investment capabilities. 

The ATF is a funding programme with the aim of creating a sustainable, zero emission automotive supply chain in the UK. The fund is an important mechanism to deliver the UK government’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution as well as its recent transport decarbonisation plan.

Over the next few weeks BV will make a series of follow up announcements including customer MoUs and R&D collaborations, relationships with blue chip UK automotive sports car brands and technology releases.

Peter Rolton, Britishvolt executive chairman, said: “This announcement is a major step in putting the UK at the forefront of the global energy transition, unlocking huge private sector investment that will develop the technology and skills required for Britain to play its part in the next industrial revolution. 

“The news is the first step in creating a commercialised battery ecosystem that perfectly aligns with the existing R&D ecosystem. Britishvolt will be the anchor for attracting further sections of the supply chain, be it refining or recycling, to co-locate on the Britishvolt site. This not only shortens supply chains but also allows for partners to access the abundance of renewable energy on site to truly power low carbon, sustainable battery production.

“It will also allow us to catapult our unique tailormade business proposition on a global scale, with sites already selected for development in other countries.

“I’m especially proud that this is such a major boost for Northumberland – the county of my birth - bringing around 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000+ indirect wider supply chain roles into the region. This is a truly historic day and marks the start of a truly exciting move towards a low carbon future. One with Britishvolt batteries at the very centre of that strategy.”

The gigaplant will build enough cells each year for over 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs, equivalent to 25% of current UK vehicle manufacture, making the UK a key player in sustainable battery production.

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