When Charged spoke with execs from UK battery firm Britishvolt back in May (see the feature story in our January-March 2022 issue), we were intrigued by the company’s plan to build battery gigafactories at strategic locations around the world using local renewable energy. So we were sorry to hear of the company’s recent financial crunch, and delighted to hear that it has now secured enough funding to move forward.
In January, the UK government promised to provide £100 million in funding to Britishvolt for the construction of a battery gigafactory in Northumberland. The company raised a further £1.7 billion in private funding for the project, which is expected to cost a total of £3.8 billion, according to the BBC.
Britishvolt has signed memorandums of understanding to make batteries for UK automakers Aston Martin and Lotus. However, the projected start date for production at the plant has been pushed back several times, and is now set for the middle of 2025.
The recent funding fracas ensued when Britishvolt asked the government to release £30 million of the funds early, and was refused.
Following a few days of uncertainty, Britishvolt now says that it has secured enough cash for the business to stay solvent in the short to medium term. It has not revealed the identity of the new investor(s).
“While the weakening economic situation is negatively impacting much business investment at present, at Britishvolt we are continuing to pursue positive ongoing discussions with potential investors,” said the company. “In addition, we have also received promising approaches from several more international investors in the past few days.”
“The result is we have now secured the necessary near-term investment that we believe enables us to bridge over the coming weeks to a more secure funding position for the future. To further reduce our near-term costs, our dedicated employee team has also voluntarily agreed to a temporary salary reduction for the month of November.”
Sources: Britishvolt, BBC