According to Britishvolt’s executive chairman, Peter Rolton, UK’s automotive industry needs to secure a local source of batteries, and China or other Asian imports would not be an option. He added that they were keen to maintain the industry and support new jobs.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that the backing was reindustrialization. He added the Gigafactory would bring back industrialization in an underinvested area. The opportunities it offers will have an economic impact on the locals.
The start-up is looking to develop a plant rapidly to sustain a large part of the UK’s car industry as it transitions from ICE to fully electric. The plant is also looking to employ about 3,000 workers when operating in total capacity in 2028. It projects it will begin producing its first batteries in 2024, taking full advantage of the 2030 UK ban on cars with internal combustion engines.
The full capacity site aims to produce enough battery cells for more than 300,000 EV battery packs in a year.
Lotus has already signed a preliminary agreement that seeks to explore teaming up the development of battery manufacturing, research, and development. Both these companies plan to share details of the deal next week.
This deal marks Britishvolt’s first official tie-up with an automaker and a positive step for the start-up to bolster its credibility with potential investors.
SMMT, UK’s auto industry trade group, warned that its automakers have little time to scale up its battery-making sector before the Brexit deal subjects them to stricter requirements.