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Britishvolt acquired by Recharge Production UK

UK-based electric vehicle (EV) battery producer Britishvolt has been acquired by Australian start-up Recharge Industries.

The remaining Britishvolt employees have transferred to Recharge as part of the transaction. 

The new buyer, trading as Recharge Production UK Limited, is expected to revive the fortunes of Britishvolt after it entered administration at the start of January.

Recharge Industries is owned and run by a New York-based investment fund called Scale Facilitation.

Britishvolt entered administration last month after running out of funds to proceed with its plans for a gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland, with most of its 232 staff being made redundant and accountancy firm EY taking over the management of its business and assets.

Britishvolt had hoped to build a £3.8 billion factory in a move that would have boosted the UK’s manufacturing of EV batteries and created 3,000 skilled jobs.

Recharge Industries is currently building a facility in Australia to produce batteries for electric vehicles.

Last year, Britishvolt asked the Government to advance £30m of a promised £100m in support, but was refused as the company had not hit agreed construction milestones to access the funds.

The UK will need to produce batteries with a capacity of 90 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year if it is to retain a car industry of a similar size, according to the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Current UK production capacity is less than 2GWh and Britishvolt was expected to produce 30GWh.

The UK currently only has one Chinese-owned plant next to the Nissan factory in Sunderland, while 35 plants are planned or already under construction in the EU.

Planning permission for a Gigafactory with a production capacity of up to 60GWh has already been secured in the West Midlands and investors for the site are currently being sought.

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