Britishvolt, which is purportedly making one of the UK’s largest-ever industrial investments, has announced the appointment of Ray Macera as project director for the construction of Britain’s first battery gigaplant. The new gigaplant is being designed by leading Italian design experts Pininfarina. It is set to be sited on a former RAF base in Bro Tathan, South Wales and will house Britishvolt’s manufacturing and research and development facilities.
Britishvolt has appointed automotive specialist Charles Morgan, to both its advisory board and board of directors, as a non-executive director.
Charles Morgan, whose grandfather founded world-renowned British brand Morgan in 1909, combines his automotive heritage with a deep global industry knowledge, and a passion for a sustainable, green future. In his new role, he will become a valuable contributor in guiding Britishvolt to realising the full potential of the UK automotive supply chain. Considering his experience in automotive production, the news is reminiscent of earlier analysis that gigafactory battery production could be poised to replace lost OE vehicle construction in the UK post-Brexit and now in the post-corona context.
Following the news that Wales is the preferred location for Britishvolt’s proposed UK Gigafactory, Britishvolt has appoint Isobel Sheldon, as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) and Head of the Advisory Board.
Britishvolt has shortlisted Bro Tathan in South Wales and one other site for the UK’s first 30 plus GWh Gigafactory. Britishvolt eliminated 40 other proposals in the process. When the project is finalised, the company says the initial wave of £1.2 billion of investment into the site will eventually lead to around 3,500 jobs.
The UK government is searching for 4 million square feet of industrial space to house an electric vehicle Gigafactory. According to Property Week, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has made the request for “an electric vehicle research, development and manufacturing plant in the UK”. In addition, the 650-acre Gravity site in Somerset has been specifically linked as prospective location for the apparent Gigafactory project. And what’s more Property Week has linked Tesla to the search for the site. Taken together, the scale of the project, DIT’s confirmation that it is for vehicle research, development and manufacturing, and the suggestion that it is all for Tesla mean the project is a prospective Gigafactory.
Roughly a year after reports suggested the UK could become home to a gigafactory, AMTE Power and Britishvolt announced plans to investigate collaborating to build the UK’s first full cycle battery cell GigaPlant, servicing the automotive and energy storage markets. Both parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) focussed on each other`s complementary ambitions to create and expand an onshore manufacturing supply chain. The successful outcome of the collaboration would enable scalable production of a diverse product portfolio of lithium ion batteries to support the country’s Road to Zero targets and unprecedented transition to electrification.
As we all now know, Boris Johnson became the United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister on 24 July. The first thing he did was replace almost the entire cabinet, with a reshuffle of unprecedented proportions. Next, he gave his maiden speech on the steps of 10 Downing Street, with an address that sought to build a platform for economic and political optimism against the recent backdrop of Brexit stagnation. Not only will we leave the EU by 31 October, we are going to do it in style, he effectively said. In doing so, Boris – as he is affectionately known – revealed as much about the changing nature of the automotive manufacturing industry and its suppliers as he did about British politics.
While the UK new car manufacturing business has taken something of a battering in recent months, The Sunday Times reports that government ministers are considering offering state support for a huge shared electric vehicle battery “giga factory” modelled on Tesla’s enormous US battery manufacturing plant in the Nevada desert. That plant, which is known as Gigafactory 1, is set to have the biggest factory footprint in the world and already employees 3000 people. The UK project has so far been valued at around £1.7 billion.