Two British startup has announced plans to invest up to 4 billion pounds in building the UK's first large-scale plant for the production of batteries. It may become a serious impetus for the rapidly evolving automotive industry.
AMTE Power and Britishvolt signed a Memorandum of understanding which States that they will collaborate on plans to build a plant for production of lithium-ion batteries, a key component in electric vehicles.
Lars Carlstrom, Executive Director Britishvolt, said that the companies have an ambition to establish facilities that produce battery with capacity of up to 30 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, which is roughly equivalent to the joint plant of the Tesla Panasonic Giga Factory in Nevada. According to him, the factory of this size will create up to 4,000 jobs.
The global automotive industry aims to supply lithium-ion batteries as manufacturers strive to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles, as well as state rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions.
However, the lack of large battery production in the UK has raised concerns over the future of the automotive industry of the country, including from the head of Jaguar Land Rover Ralph Sung. The production of batteries next to car Assembly plants in the end attractive to automakers.
According to the state of the institution Institution Faraday, the UK by 2040, will require the 130 GWh of annual power, if the country intends to maintain its large automotive sector.
The UK has recently lost a major investment in the production of batteries Tesla company. Elon Musk, Executive Director of the American manufacturer of electric vehicles, called uncertainty about Brexit the reason for their decision to choose Berlin instead of the British location. Other battery makers such as Swedish Northvolt, South Korea's LG Chem and Chinese CATL, have built factories in the EU.
Carlstrom said that the situation with Brexit provided the company the opportunity to enter the market, while other companies do not want to invest in this business, despite the expected demand for batteries from the British automobile plants.
The European and British brands, usually imported from China and South Korea the batteries, which then are installed in cars. However, manufacturers of cars such as the owner of the Vauxhall, Peugeot, realized the growing need to ensure the production of batteries is closer to Europe.
The investment in British plant was a top priority for officials of the automotive industry of the government. The state center with the support of the government organized the relationship between the two startups.
AMTE Power, founded in 2013, is already managing a small enterprise in Thurso, North Scotland, and is seeking sites in Teesside and Dundee for a larger power plant, capable of producing 1 GWh per year. AMTE, headed by the Director General Kevin Brandishes, focuses on specialized markets such as expensive cars.
Britishvolt plans for a larger plant with an annual capacity of 10 GWh of batteries designed for cars mass market, with the possibility of adding another 20 GWh thereafter. Britishvolt expects the first 1.2 billion pounds next year after receiving initial support from Scandinavian and middle Eastern investors.
The company is confident that it will be able to attract funds, despite the impending slowdown of the pandemic coronavirus, as investors are looking for opportunities for green investment. Later stages of construction can be focused on different technologies such as solid-state batteries, as their development continues.
Materials on this topic can also be read:
The UK’s first car battery ‘gigafactory’ to be built by two startups (The Guardian)
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