EV battery pioneer, Britishvolt (BV), is powering ahead with its plans for its first full-scale electric vehicle gigaplant in Northumberland, and has received support from the UK Government through its Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
At the same time, BV has also announced 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 the UK and European logistics real estate market, 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 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution and 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.
“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,” said Peter Rolton, Britishvolt’s executive chairman.
“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.”
According to APC research, based on its unique relationships with vehicle manufacturers, by 2030 the UK will need over 90GWh per annum of batteries for cars and light commercials alone and represents over 11 per cent of the total demand across Europe.
“Britishvolt’s plan to build a new gigafactory in Northumberland is a strong testament to the skilled workers of the North East and the UK’s place at the helm of the global green industrial revolution,” said UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
“Backed by government and private sector investment, this new battery factory will boost the production of electric vehicles in the UK, whilst levelling up opportunity and bringing thousands of new highly-skilled jobs to communities in our industrial heartlands.”