Battery manufacturer Britishvolt is on the verge of securing some £200 million of government funding to support the construction of its new Northumberland factory.
According to the Financial Times, the start-up stands to benefit from the government's £850m fund for attracting EV battery production to the UK, which is crucial to sustaining the country's automotive industry as the planned 2030 ban on the sale of new combustion-engined cars looms.
The FT cites three people with knowledge of the talks, which have been ongoing for more than a year, who suggested a final amount of between £200m and £250m is likely to be allocated "within weeks". Overall, the Blyth site is anticipated to cost around £2.6 billion to build.
It has also emerged that Britishvolt has begun discussions with several potential customers, having broken ground at the construction site just last month.
One company named in the FT's report is Stellantis, which will soon repurpose its Ellesmere Port factory, which currently handles production of the Vauxhall Astra, to build a range of small electric vans for the Citroën, Peugeot and Vauxhall brands. Securing local battery supply for these vehicles would significantly reduce production costs.
The FT also reports that Stellantis could use Britishvolt-built batteries for EVs produced outside the UK, but no official details have been given.
Other companies named as potential customers include UK-based commercial EV start-up Arrival, electric truck manufacturer Tevva Motors and Canadian firm Lion Electric, none of which have commented publicly on the report.
Britishvolt has yet to comment on the report.
The company's planned facility will be among the first so-called 'gigafactories' to enter operation in the UK.
Nissan builds batteries for the Leaf hatchback in partnership with Envision AESC at its site in nearby Sunderland and will dramatically expand this facility in the coming years, while plans for a new battery factory at Coventry Airport are fast progressing.