Accordig to Khabar Khodro, two British start-ups have
announced plans to build the UK’s first ‘gigafactory’, which will supply
batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage purposes, by 2023.
Scotland-based battery producer AMTE Power and tech
start-up Britishvolt have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly
produce battery packs and are considering a public offering to fund the
project, which is anticipated to cost up to £4 billion.
The move could be a lifeline for the UK’s struggling
automotive industry, which has been identified as less advanced than other
countries in terms of EV adoption and infrastructure. Jaguar Land Rover boss
Ralf Speth said last year: "If batteries go out of the UK, then automotive
production will go out of the UK.”
Analysis: Why the UK needs a battery gigafactory - and
The planned production capacity of 30 gigawatt hours
(GWh) per year matches the output of Tesla’s Nevada facility and could create
up to 4000 UK jobs, according to Britishvolt CEO Lars Carlstrom.
Carlstrom said: "Meeting Road to Zero targets and moving
the UK into a low-carbon economy will necessitate the unprecedented
electrification of vehicles, and reliance on renewable energy will require
extensive battery storage.
"It is costly and carbon intensive to have lithium ion
batteries imported from the Far East and this gigaplant would cement a solid
onshore supply chain to ensure quality and eliminate future uncertainty of
AMTE and Britishvolt aim to raise £1.2bn in 2021 in
order to fund the first of two factories, which will take initial production
capacity to 10GWh. Further investment will help them achieve the ultimate 30GWh
objective with a second facility.
Automotive News Europe reports that Britishvolt is
considering five potential sites between the south-west of England and the
Midlands, and that the pair of companies hopes to secure a supply deal with
Jaguar Land Rover, which currently uses cells from Korea-based LG Chem.
The site quotes Carlstrom as saying: "JLR is a very
important player. And they’re also very picky in terms of having the right
product. We feel we will compete with LG Chem on quality and pricing.”