Harry Leahey

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Northumberland-based start-up Britishvolt will be taken over by Australian battery development firm Recharge Industries, in a move which looks to blow a new lease of life into a firm that had big plans for expansion before entering into administration, earlier this year.  


Recharge Industries, based in Geelong, Melbourne, is working on creating Australia’s first ever lithium-ion battery cell production factory. With aims of becoming a leader in the field, this particular takeover has been speculated for months now, and the deal has been finalised at last. 


The company is owned by American investment group Scale Facilitation. Its CEO, David Collard, said: “Our proposal combined our financial, commercial, technology and manufacturing capabilities, with a highly credible plan to put boots and equipment on the ground quickly.”


Meanwhile, Britishvolt was originally started in 2019, and after receiving plenty of praise for attempting to restart Britain’s dwindling battery production rates, fell into financial issues earlier this year. 


This happened after it failed to attract the required funding to enable it to proceed onto the next phase of its plan: construction of a £3.8 billion Gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland, to ramp up production of its lithium-ion batteries for electric cars. 


Regarding the acquisition, speakers on behalf of Recharge Industries stated that Britishvolt could play “a critical role in the UK’s industrial and net-zero strategies”. They also confirmed Recharge Industry’s intent to resume construction of the Gigafactory in Northumberland. 


However, Britishvolt’s new majority shareholders will not focus squarely on supplying batteries for electric cars initially. Instead, it will aim to produce batteries used in energy storage. 


Though, the cash injection does mean Britishvolt could continue to focus on producing the originally planned 48GWh of battery cells per year in the near future, which would be enough to supply 30,000 new electric cars. 


Specific details of the deal, including finances involved, have not yet been publically announced, but this surely acts as positive news for Britain’s automotive industry. 

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Harry Leahey 28/02/23