Posted September 22nd, 2020 in Scale Up

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With the news that the UK is to be home to not one but two new gigafactories, Andrew Tunnicliffe speaks with AMTE Power and BritishVolt to find out what the factories are, what they’ll mean for the future of a battery-powered Britain, and what challenges stand in their way.

May, 2020: For years, the UK has largely relied on supplies of lithium-ion batteries from around the world. Domestically, whilst there is some production, the supply has been outweighed by demand.

While there are some battery-producing facilities, there has only been one supersize operation, or gigafactory, until now. but that is set to change thanks to a collaboration between one of the sector’s newest entrants and one of its most established players.

In May 2020, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by AMTE Power and Britishvolt signalled a significant step towards the UK becoming a leading figure in the global lithium-ion manufacturing space. Under the agreement, both will share their knowledge and expertise in the hope of expanding the UK’s onshore manufacturing capabilities and supply chain.

“The UK is world-renowned for its excellence in battery research and development, but currently there is not enough investment or infrastructure in the end-to-end cell manufacturing supply chain,” says BritishVolt’s Isobel Sheldon, a seasoned expert who was recently appointed as the company’s chief strategy officer. It’s a view shared by AMTE’s chief executive Kevin Brundish too.


Both parties produce lithium-ion batteries for the automotive and power storage markets. The MoU means AMTE, established in 2013 to serve the high-performance end of the automotive sector, and start-up company BritishVolt, which focuses on mass-produced electric vehicles and was only launched at the end of 2019, will work together to develop two new plants as part of a £4bn investment programme.AMTE currently has a facility in Thurso, Scotland, but is looking at potential sites in Teesside and Dundee for its new plant.

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