Britishvolt, a British company that wants to build a mega-factory for EV batteries in the north of England, is increasingly in financial distress. This is reported by Automotive News Europe. Because of those issues, founder and CEO Orral Nadjari left last week with immediate effect. Graham Hoare, former chairman of Ford of Britain.
Founded in 2019, Britishvolt has basically commitments for 2.4 billion euros in financing. This includes 130 million euros from the British government, which would like to make the country a forerunner of electric mobility. Aston Martin and Lotus, which belong to Geely, have also been brought in as customers, albeit with no more than commitments and no contracts.
It has already become clear that the role of the British automotive industry on the world stage is almost played out by the lack of, among other things, large battery factories. Compared to the construction of planned large battery plants in Europe, the United Kingdom is lagging behind. For example, Catl opened a Gigafactory in Hungary earlier this month. Morocco and Indonesia are also aiming for a leading position in EV production.
Britishvolt first got into trouble when co-founder and chairman Lars Carlstrom had to step down at the end of 2020 due to tax fraud in Sweden. In the meantime, it is also becoming increasingly clear that the funding is partly built on loose sand.
For example, an amount of almost 1.9 billion euros for the construction of the factory building itself still has to be formally completed. In addition, this company is also facing the constraints in the supply chain, as Nadjari previously reported in an interview with the Guardian.
Because of all these difficulties, the construction of the Blyth plant was delayed. A spokesman for Britishvolt says the funding is still going according to plan. However, he admits that, given the uncertainty in the financial markets, investors are less inclined to come across the bridge with the necessary funds.