Britishvolt acquisition completed, with new owners eyeing bigger batteries
Australian battery startup Recharge Industries has completed its acquisition of Britishvolt, but may use its site in Blyth to manufacture grid-scale energy storage rather than vehicle batteries.
Britishvolt collapsed into administration last month, jeapordising plans for a 30GWHh Gigafactory on a 93-hectare site near Blyth, North East England. The factory was supposed to begin producing batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) in 2024 and production would then be scaled to 300,000 battery packs per year by 2028.
EY was appointed to oversee the administration process and has today (27 February) confirmed that Recharge Industries, which was selected as the preferred bidder earlier this month, has completed the acquisition of the majority of Britishvolt and its asset for an undisclosed sum.
Britishvolt’s remaining employees will now work for Recharge Industries. The firm laid off the majority of its 300-strong workforce when it entered administration.
Recharge Industries is like Britishvolt in that it is widely regarded as a startup or scaleup. It is yet to complete a major project of its own but is working on a battery factory in Victoria, Australia, at present. With the takeover complete, both factories should now begin producing batteries in the next 24 months.
However, the BBC and other media outlets are reporting that Recharge Industries is likely to have slightly different plans for the Blyth facility than the original project. Recharge will reportedly start by producing batteries for energy storage – both grid-scale batteries and smaller packs for use in buildings – rather than batteries for EVs. It intends to launch these products in the UK and Australia by the end of 2025.
Scale Foundation, the American investment fund which ultimately owns Recharge Industries, has stated that it is “thrilled” to be acquiring Britishvolt.
Scale Facilitation’s founder and chief executive David A Collard said: “The North East of England has a real depth of history and talent in manufacturing and engineering. I recently spent time in the area to get to know the people and the site, and I was struck by the similarities to our Recharge Industriessite in Geelong, Australia.
“I was really taken by the passion and pride that the people have for the region and their determination to get behind a project that can drive lasting change. We have the right plan in place, to match and support the region’s energy and ambition to become a major player in the international battery market.”
Scale Facilitation has a UK-based advisor in Edward Dawes, a British Army veteran with an engineering background. Dawes’ day job is as managing director at Hyrlian Consulting, and he has several other advisory roles across the defence and cleantech spaces.
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