Britishvolt Battery Factory Receives Government Backing

Company Britishvolt has secured around £100 million in government funding to build a new battery factory near Blyth in Northumberland. 

Boosted by investment from the private sector, the Britishvolt gigaplant will produce enough batteries for 300,000 electric vehicles per year (equating to 48GWh) once it’s running at full capacity in 2028. The first low carbon, lithium-ion batteries should be rolling off the production line in 2024, however.

£100m boost for new gigafactory in the North East

This news really matters to the UK automotive manufacturing industry because the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is banned here from 2030, and vehicle makers with factories on these shores (Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover to name a few) are actively looking to source batteries built within short distances of their plants. 

Why does distance matter? Well, the components relating to electric drive systems weigh more than those of internal combustion engines and so cost more to ship around the world. If car makers don’t have access to ‘cheap’ batteries, then they could relocate their factories – and jobs – to a location that provides them. The alternative is electric cars with even higher purchase prices, which benefit nobody. So it’s in the UK’s interest to give automakers what they need to control costs.

Of course, this approach of ‘keeping it local’ has the added benefit of helping the environment because highly polluting cargo ships, for example, don’t come into the equation. This is something we can all get behind…

Who is Britishvolt?

Headquartered in the West Midlands, Britishvolt is focused on the development and manufacture of advanced battery cell technology in the most eco-friendly way possible. The company was established in late 2019 and began hiring its first employees in June 2020, shortly before selecting Northumberland as the home of its new battery factory. Planning permission was granted in July 2021 and construction of the 93-hectare site got underway soon afterwards. 

The UK Government wants to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by kickstarting a revolution in the production of green energy and slashing our CO2 output. Part of this net zero carbon strategy involves encouraging drivers to ditch their petrol and diesel vehicles and switch to electric cars, which produce no harmful emissions and so are kinder to the environment. This is where Britishvolt and its cutting-edge batteries come in.

Why the Britishvolt factory matters

Not only will the new Britishvolt gigafactory project create 3,000 jobs on site, it will create a further 5,000 jobs in the supply chain. 

Britishvolt’s gigaplant is being built on land previously used by the former coal-fired Blyth Power Station, right by the River Blyth where it can generate eco-friendly hydroelectricity for its major operating systems. 

The use of such sustainable energy is important because as emissions produced by vehicles during their entire life cycle – from the factory floor to the scrap heap – become ever more important, how their batteries are made will also come under greater scrutiny. The more eco-friendly a factory can be, the better it is for everybody now and in the future.

Where is the money coming from?

The UK Government has dipped into its £1 billion Automotive Transformation Fund to support Britishvolt’s new gigaplant, which forms a small but significant part of the overall mission to go green. Investor firms Tritax (a logistics real estate specialist) and abrdn (an investment company) are set to contribute a further £1.7 billion to the project in addition to the £2.6 billion that Britishvolt has already invested.


So, what does this all mean for the future of EVs in Britain? As batteries become cheaper to source, manufacturers can pass on these savings to customers in the form of lower car prices. With investment from companies such as Britishvolt, lithium-ion battery technology will also improve, meaning you can travel even further on a single charge. 

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