UK could be on course for its first gigafactory
Published: 29 May 2020

Battery developers AMTE Power and Britishvolt are jointly assessing the potential for a £4 billion battery facility.

The two British firms aim to create and expand a domestic manufacturing supply chain for a diverse portfolio of lithium-ion batteries, in what would be the UK's first gigafactory. 

Dubbed 'the GigaPlant' they aim to develop a 30+ gigawatt-hour factory which would help cut the need to import battery components from Asia and could create up to 4,000 jobs in the UK.

The facility would help to support the growing demand for electric vehicles and power storage projects which would help towards the UK's 2050 net-zero goal.

Britishvolt CEO Leo Carlstrom said: ''The UK government's goal to phase out sales of fossil fuel cars by 2035 or earlier and shift towards a low carbon electricity grid would necessitate the unprecedented electrification of vehicles, and reliance on renewable energy will require extensive battery storage. It is costly and carbon-intensive to have lithium-ion batteries imported from the Far East, and this GigaPlant would cement a solid onshore supply chain to ensure quality and eliminate future uncertainty of supply.''

Kevin Brundish, CEO at AMTE Power, commented: ''The current coronavirus crisis had further highlighted the need for the UK to have a robust domestic supply chain for batteries, and that the creation of a GigaPlant would place the UK in a strong position to service automotive and energy storage markets. The scalable production of lithium-ion cells is key to electrifying vehicles and would drive new manufacturing revenues and new employment, and can be built on AMTE's focus on the supply of specialised cells, thereby continuing the country's tradition of excellence in battery cell innovation.''

Both firms are also working on their own individual plans to scale up battery-making facilities across the UK, and there is potential for them to combine their planned independent sites to deliver a larger scale battery-making facility.


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