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Who owns Britishvolt a gigafactory given £100m in taxpayer funding to help power electric car of the future

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Britishvolt a battery facility is being developed as the UK tries to catch up to EU competitors in the race to acquire enough batteries before the 2030 ban on the sale of new gasoline and diesel automobiles.

At a new plant on the site of the former Blyth Power Station, the Britishvolt project plans to produce power cells for 300,000 electric car battery packs each year.

The £1.7 billion in private finance obtained by real estate fund manager Tritax and investment manager abrdn will be supplemented by the £1.7 billion in public funds provided through the Automotive Transformation Fund.

The project is the North East’s second gigafactory to get government funding in the last year as part of attempts to address climate change through a new electric vehicle future.

It comes after Nissan, Envision, and Sunderland City Council announced a £1 billion joint venture to create batteries for the Japanese automaker’s electric cars (EVs) on Wearside.

According to Britishvolt, the facility will employ 3,000 people directly, with an additional 5,000 jobs produced in the supplier chain and wider economy.

The business expects to attain a capacity of 30GW by the end of the decade, with production beginning in 2024, after commencing construction on the 93-acre site last September.

The government has said that new petrol and diesel vehicles would not be sold after 2030, yet the UK lags behind European competitors in battery manufacture, which is a critical component in the EV supply chain.

The Nissan-Envision facility will generate 9GW of battery cells per year at first, with capacity increasing to 35GW over time.

By 2030, the UK is expected to require up to 90GW of batteries each year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, with the industry aiming for at least 60GW by that time.

According to current projections, just 37GW has been committed, compared to a total of 640GW for the European Union.

The investment, according to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, is a statement of confidence in the UK and the North East.

“In this global competition to secure essential battery production, our government is happy to make the required investments to guarantee the UK keeps its position as one of the top car manufacturing sites in the world.”

“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, executive chairman of Britishvolt.

 

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