Currently reading: Britishvolt secures £1.7 billion in funding for UK Gigaplant
Significant investment has come from private companies, with additional resource from the UK government

Battery manufacturing start-up Britishvolt has secured funding of £1.7 billion in a huge boost to its plans to manufacture automotive battery cells in North East England, starting in 2024.

The decision from property investor Trixtax and investment company Abrdn to put up the money came after the UK Government gave Britishvolt a smaller sum via its Automotive Transformation Fund, Britishvolt said. The company declined to say how big the government tranche was but Autocar understands it was £100 million.

“This announcement is a major step in putting the UK at the forefront of the global energy transition,” Peter Rolton, Britishvolt chairman, said in a statement.

Britishvolt started constructing the factory in Blyth, Northumberland, in September last year and hopes to build enough cells to supply 300,000 automotive battery packs per year by 2028, equating to 48GWh of power. The first phase, in 2024, is later than the company’s earlier predicted start date of 2023, but will give it the capacity to build cells totalling 11GWh.

So far the company has not said who will buy the cells, but reported in the statement it would make a series of announcements “over the next few weeks” detailing various tie-ups, R&D collaborations and “relationships with blue-chip UK automotive sports car brands”. It declined to name which brands, but Lotus will be one, the Bloomberg news agency reported.

Britishvolt raised its prediction for its total workforce at the plant from 2500 to 3000 and estimates it would also employ another 5000 in associated supply chains.

The site in Northumberland is close to where Envision will build a battery plant next to the Nissan Sunderland factory with a promised output of 11GWh from 2024, and eventually rising to 38GWh. The factory will supply batteries for Nissan’s planned crossover replacement for the Leaf, due in 2024.

Britishvolt has hired a number of high-profile executives in recent months to help it meet its ambitious plans, including the former chairman of Ford of Britain, Graham Hoare, and former Ford of Europe product development head Joe Bakaj.

UK automotive lobby group SMMT has said that the UK needs at least 60GWh of battery cell production capability in the UK by 2030 to supply up to one million electric cars. The UK government has set a date of 2030 by which sales of pure combustion engine cars will be banned, followed by 2035 for hybrids with “significant” range.

A potential third battery plant in Coventry, central England, was last week given early-stage planning permission by the local council. The ambitious proposal for the plant at Coventry airport reckons that it could be producing 60GWh of batteries from the one site alone, creating 6000 jobs in the process.

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A third of all cars produced in the UK come from the West Midlands, around Coventry, by companies including Aston Martin, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.

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scotty5 22 January 2022

Why folk bother to comment I don't know. If this proposal was on mainland Europe the remoaners would be up in arms but the fact it's going to be built here - well they have to find some other theory to vent their disapproval.

If this isn't a good news story then what is? Would you have preferred manufacturers buy their batteries from abroad? Perhaps you'd be happy if vehicle manufacturers shut up shop in the UK and moved abroad too, just so you're able to say Brexit? Told you so.

Whether you like it or not, EV's are here to stay for the foreseeable future. If we don't embrace projects like this then we'll be left on the scrap heap, which is the very reason a once powerful British car industry is no longer. We shouldn't be making the same mistakes time and time again.

Paul Dalgarno 22 January 2022
scotty5 wrote:

Why folk bother to comment I don't know. If this proposal was on mainland Europe the remoaners would be up in arms but the fact it's going to be built here - well they have to find some other theory to vent their disapproval.

If this isn't a good news story then what is? Would you have preferred manufacturers buy their batteries from abroad? Perhaps you'd be happy if vehicle manufacturers shut up shop in the UK and moved abroad too, just so you're able to say Brexit? Told you so.

Whether you like it or not, EV's are here to stay for the foreseeable future. If we don't embrace projects like this then we'll be left on the scrap heap, which is the very reason a once powerful British car industry is no longer. We shouldn't be making the same mistakes time and time again.

Here here. Most of the folk below clearly are doom merchants who would not be creative or skilled enough to put together this massive investment. Nothing would ever get done with that attitude. I worked with a 3rd party on a biomass project - deeply skilled people who were able to pull together a complex engineering project, a supply chain in the UK, supply contracts for energy and heat to 3rd parties, then to get the investors on board. Small beer compared to this project, but people with a real can do attitude. To attract that level of both government and private investment takes some serious groundwork to justify. There's clearly more to the work in the background than they can publish, and customers for these batteries will have been agreed on heads of terms I'd think. 

Bill Lyons 23 January 2022
Paul Dalgarno wrote:

scotty5 wrote:

Why folk bother to comment I don't know. If this proposal was on mainland Europe the remoaners would be up in arms but the fact it's going to be built here - well they have to find some other theory to vent their disapproval.

If this isn't a good news story then what is? Would you have preferred manufacturers buy their batteries from abroad? Perhaps you'd be happy if vehicle manufacturers shut up shop in the UK and moved abroad too, just so you're able to say Brexit? Told you so.

Whether you like it or not, EV's are here to stay for the foreseeable future. If we don't embrace projects like this then we'll be left on the scrap heap, which is the very reason a once powerful British car industry is no longer. We shouldn't be making the same mistakes time and time again.

Here here. Most of the folk below clearly are doom merchants who would not be creative or skilled enough to put together this massive investment. Nothing would ever get done with that attitude. I worked with a 3rd party on a biomass project - deeply skilled people who were able to pull together a complex engineering project, a supply chain in the UK, supply contracts for energy and heat to 3rd parties, then to get the investors on board. Small beer compared to this project, but people with a real can do attitude. To attract that level of both government and private investment takes some serious groundwork to justify. There's clearly more to the work in the background than they can publish, and customers for these batteries will have been agreed on heads of terms I'd think. 

 

Biomass. Isn't that when you chop down trees, burn them and then say its good for the environment?

Paul Dalgarno 24 January 2022
Bill Lyons wrote:

Paul Dalgarno wrote:

scotty5 wrote:

Why folk bother to comment I don't know. If this proposal was on mainland Europe the remoaners would be up in arms but the fact it's going to be built here - well they have to find some other theory to vent their disapproval.

If this isn't a good news story then what is? Would you have preferred manufacturers buy their batteries from abroad? Perhaps you'd be happy if vehicle manufacturers shut up shop in the UK and moved abroad too, just so you're able to say Brexit? Told you so.

Whether you like it or not, EV's are here to stay for the foreseeable future. If we don't embrace projects like this then we'll be left on the scrap heap, which is the very reason a once powerful British car industry is no longer. We shouldn't be making the same mistakes time and time again.

Here here. Most of the folk below clearly are doom merchants who would not be creative or skilled enough to put together this massive investment. Nothing would ever get done with that attitude. I worked with a 3rd party on a biomass project - deeply skilled people who were able to pull together a complex engineering project, a supply chain in the UK, supply contracts for energy and heat to 3rd parties, then to get the investors on board. Small beer compared to this project, but people with a real can do attitude. To attract that level of both government and private investment takes some serious groundwork to justify. There's clearly more to the work in the background than they can publish, and customers for these batteries will have been agreed on heads of terms I'd think. 

 

Biomass. Isn't that when you chop down trees, burn them and then say its good for the environment?

While not ideal at least the trees are replaced, and do provide partial compensation for the emmisions vs other fossil fuels. The project I was involved in had only domestic tree residue from cuttings, thinnings, and a waste stream that was normally thrown onto the forest floor to decay and produce CO2 - these things are not uncomplicated in terms of their carbon cycle. An element was also the EU Emmissions scheme pushing energy intensive industries down routes like this as the paper industry needed heat and power, and other higher level renewablesare intermittent by nature and don't provide heat. So case of a business trying to do the right things (there was a small scale hydro scheme involved too), but being forced by both technology and cost in certain directions from legisialtion. Beleive it or not some businesses are run by forward thinking clever people...

xxxx 21 January 2022

WOW, what a load of negative comments here regarding positive news for uk jobs. If it was to be built in germany or France everyone would be slating the UK for not investing, you just can't win with some people. 

Great for the North I say

RTPL 22 January 2022
xxxx wrote:

WOW, what a load of negative comments here regarding positive news for uk jobs. If it was to be built in germany or France everyone would be slating the UK for not investing, you just can't win with some people. 

Great for the North I say

Tonrichard 21 January 2022

As usual the UK is about 10 years behind the curve. This investment does not fill me with confidence. New company. unknown (and presumably unproven) technology, sited far from vehicle manufacturing and no major customers. Strikes me as another unthought idea promoted by Boris. Only scope for batteries in the UK might be to supplement renewable power generation. 

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