Britishvolt electric car battery firm to be bought by Australian company
Recharge Industries becomes the preferred bidder for the floundering Britishvolt gigafactory start-up
UK gigafactory start-up Britishvolt is set to be bought by an Australian company, having previously entered administration.
Recharge Industries, which is owned in turn by a New York fund called Scale Facilitation Partners, has been announced as the preferred bidder for Britishvolt, saving the project from collapse.
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EY, which is overseeing the administration, said in a statement: “EY is pleased to announce that the Joint Administrators have entered into an agreement with Scale Facilitation Partners LLC and its indirectly wholly owned subsidiary Recharge Industries Pty Ltd to be the preferred bidder in acquiring the majority of the business and assets of Power by Britishvolt Limited (in Administration).
“This follows a process conducted by EY that involved the consideration of multiple approaches from interested parties and numerous offers received. Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur within the next seven days.”
Recharge Industries is building an EV battery production facility in Australia. No details of its plans for the Britishvolt site in the north-east of England have yet been revealed.
Britishvolt had been seen as a landmark project to boost the country’s production of EV components. The project was saved from administration in November 2022 after securing additional funding, only to re-enter administration in January 2023.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has previously emphasised that the UK needs several gigafactories to ensure the future success of its automotive industry as petrol and diesel are phased out.
The factory, in Blyth, Northumberland, had been a key part of the government’s ‘levelling-up’ policy commitments under former prime minister Boris Johnson, with a proposed manufacturing capacity capable of producing up to 300,000 electric car batteries a year.
Incorporated in late 2019, Britishvolt had originally planned for production of batteries to begin at the factory in late 2024. In August, the company announced that this would be delayed until the middle of 2025.
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Britishvolt has never secured any customers for its proposed battery technology, but has signed memorandums of understanding with both Lotus and Aston Martin to develop technologies suitable for use in those company’s electric vehicles.
The factory, in Blyth, Northumberland, has been a key part of the Government’s ‘levelling-up’ policy commitments under former prime minister Boris Johnson, with a proposed manufacturing capacity capable of producing up to 300,000 electric car batteries a year.
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