Following talks to find a rescue bid, Britishvolt has collapsed into administration, with the majority of its 232 staff made redundant with immediate effect. The firm’s plan to build a £3.8bn gigafactory to make EV batteries in Blyth, Northumberland, had recently stalled as it struggled to find investment to fund the project. Employees were told the news at an all-staff meeting on Tuesday morning.
As petrol and diesel cars are phased out in the run up to the 2035 ban on the sales of internal combustion engines, the UK will need several battery factories to support the future of EV manufacturing. Britishvolt’s long-term vision was to boost manufacture of EV batteries in the UK and create around 3,000 skilled jobs. The UK currently only has one Chinese-owned battery plant at the Nissan factory in Sunderland, while 35 plants are planned or already under construction in the European Union.
Accountancy firm EY has taken on the administration, and will now assess the company’s assets, including its intellectual property and assets, to pay creditors.
Britishvolt was hoping to build the 30-gigawatt hours gigafactory in phases, manufacturing enough battery cells a year for more than 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs, equivalent to about a quarter of current UK vehicle manufacturing. However, construction work stopped last autumn as its focus turned to staving off collapse.