The UK government is to invest £100 million in a new ‘Gigafactory’ to make electric car batteries.
Money has been allocated from the Automotive Transformation Fund, and will be added to £1.7bn in private funding to build the plant. It will produce enough battery cells for over 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year by the end of the decade.
The Britishvolt factory is being built on the site of the former Blyth Power Station in Cambois, Northumberland. It is expected to bring 3,000 direct jobs and another 5,000+ in the associated supply chains.
Advanced works started September 6, 2021, and the project will be built in phases, to keep up with technology advancements. It will have a total capacity of over 30GWh by the end of the decade, primarily for use in cars. The plant is in addition to another Gigafactory which is being built next to Nissan's Sunderland facility, which currently makes the Leaf electric car.
Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary said: “Today’s news is a major boost for Britain and a resounding vote of confidence in the North East economy.
“Britishvolt’s planned Gigafactory will not only enable the UK to fully capture the benefits of a booming electric vehicle market, but will bring thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs to the North East.
“In this global race between countries to secure vital battery production, this Government is proud to make the investment necessary to ensure the UK retains its place as one of the best locations in the world for auto manufacturing.”
Ginny Buckley, Founder of Electrifying.com, commented: "We can’t underestimate the significance of today's announcement as we head to the 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars. As part of the Brexit deal all new vehicles made in the UK and sold in Europe will have to contain a significant amount of parts produced either in the UK or Europe. So if we want car makers to build electric cars here UK gigafactories are key to this.
"Car buyers have embraced electric, with 1 in 9 buyers switching in 2021. The Britishvolt facility will be a driving force for the supply of the new models consumers want."