Britain’s EV battery dream tanks as Britishvolt collapses
Britishvolt, a proposed ‘gigafactory’ in the north of England, which aimed to supply the EV market with home-grown batteries and create over 8,000 jobs, has filed for administration.
According to Reuters, a team from accounting firm Ernst & Young’s restructuring arm EY-Parthenon has been appointed as administrators and the majority of Britishvolt’s 300 staff have been made redundant.
The accountancy firm will now assess the company’s intellectual property and research in a bid to pay creditors before winding down the company.
The Blyth-based start-up had been in urgent talks with potential buyers to secure short term funding since November after the British government withdrew its £100m funding pledge.
While building gigafactories is seen as a key aim of the government, it refused make a £30m advance in the last quarter, upon learning that a third of the money would be used to help keep the firm afloat rather than to build the factory.
Britishvolt’s initial aim was to start producing enough battery cells for over 300,000 electric vehicles packs a year (the equivalent of around a quarter of current UK vehicle manufacturing).
The start up hoped that the government’s pledge could help its factory attract further support from private investors, creating 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs in the wider supply chain.
Its closure today has endangered Britain’s hopes of keeping the next generation of electric vehicles built in the UK, rather than on mainland Europe, where most of the larger economies already have EV battery manufacturing plants in the offing – with Sweden’s Northvolt already up and running.
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