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Britishvolt scraps Canada factory to focus on Europe

Britishvolt Canada
Image credit: Britishvolt

Britishvolt has confirmed it has abandoned plans to build an additional battery cell factory in Canada to focus on R&D and scale-up facilities in Europe.

The British battery startup cited “worsening global economic conditions” and the “very significant reduction available investment capital” for scrapping the gigaplant facility at Bécancour Industrial Park in Quebec, Canada.

An investment from a mystery backer saved Britishvolt from entering administration earlier this month. The troubled EV battery maker has delayed production, while plans for a £3.8bn gigafactory in Northumberland are mired in uncertainty.

A Britishvolt spokesperson told UKTN that the “most responsible near-term action we can make is to concentrate on getting our high quality, advanced technology battery cells to market in the quickest and most cost-effective manner”.

Britishvolt will now move its attention to Europe where its current R&D and scale-up operations are. The company added North America is still a “key part” of its strategy and hopes to return to discussions in Canada. The company also cited the recent US Inflation Reduction Act and said it is “having an impact on the economic viability of largescale climate projects in other parts of North America”.

While Britishvolt has agreed memorandums of understanding with some automakers, it is yet to bring in revenue and has raised more than $2bn in a combination of debt financing, venture funding and public grants.

In August, the firm said that it would delay production at its Northumberland battery site for six months due to energy costs. Over the following months, the scale of Britshvolt’s problems escalated and culminated in the company securing last-gasp funding to stave off administration.

Its creditors remain wary, however, with investor Katch Fund Solutions appointing a receiver in case of administration.

The near-300 staff at Britishvolt have also agreed take a temporary pay cut in a bid to save the company.