Britishvolt announced a memorandum of understanding with the Welsh government to build the UK's first lithium-ion battery gigafactory in Bro Tathan (at a former Royal Air Force base) in South Wales' Vale of Glamorgan.
The plan is for a 30 GWh plant (in three stages), starting construction in early 2021 and production from 2023.
Because Britishvolt does not have its own battery technology, at least not yet, it intends to produce batteries using tech licensed from other manufacturers and then sell them under its own brand.
The project is kind of similar to Northvolt, which trailblazed the way to establish a new battery company from the scratch to cover the need of local battery manufacturing and diversification.
"A successful outcome of the partnership could enable the scalable production of a world-class portfolio of lithium ion batteries, creating and expanding an onshore manufacturing ecosystem and supply chain to support the country’s “Road to Zero” emissions targets, and unprecedented transition to electrification, the company said. It is anticipated that the initial £1.2 billion of investment from the company could eventually lead to up to 3,500 jobs. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021, with first output of batteries by 2023."
To make things happen, the company intends to raise around £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) in Q1 2021. The entire 30 GWh would although cost about £4 billion.
Today, Britishvolt announced that the site to be designed by Italian design house Pininfarina.
We can only guess that once the project will start rolling, all the UK-based manufacturers will be seriously considering the local supply of lithium-ion batteries.
We have to point out that the UK already has one major EV battery production site in Sunderland, where Nissan has been making batteries for the LEAF and e-NV200. Of course, the scale was not very high, but in the range of 1 GWh we guess. A few years ago it was big, as Europe was a lithium-ion battery desert.