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CEO of battery startup Britishvolt steps down

Britishvolt CEO

Battery cell maker Britishvolt has confirmed that its founder Orral Nadjari is stepping down as CEO, with the company’s president of global operations, Dr Graham Hoare, appointed acting CEO.

Before joining Britishvolt, Hoare was chairman at automotive manufacturer Ford and spent 19 years at the company. The interim CEO also has experience at Jaguar Land Rover and BMW.

Speaking on his new Britishvolt CEO role Hoare said: “Orral provided powerful insights, and a tenacious approach, that ensured the early ideas for the company were brought to fruition. I thank him for his huge commitment, energy and contributions.”

It shortly comes after the Northumberland company received funding from the UK government for its £3.8bn battery cell ‘gigafactory’. Britishvolt says it will begin distributing battery cell samples to its customers during the summer.

“Although it was a difficult decision for me to step away from the operational management of the company, now is the right time for me to pass the reins, after laying the foundations, to our hugely talented, world-leading team, who will drive the business forwards as it enters the execution phase,” said Orral Nadjari, founder, Britishvolt.

Founded in 2019, Britishvolt is developing battery technology to power electric vehicles. It is working with car manufacturer Lotus to develop an electric vehicle and Aston Martin on “high-performance battery technology”.

Back in May, Britishvolt announced plans to build a £200m battery research facility in the West Midlands in partnership with Prologis.

The change in leadership throws more uncertainty on to the future of Britishvolt. Leaked internal memos showed that the company is prepared to reduce its valuation to attract additional funding for its gigafactory in Blyth.

According to Dealroom, the battery maker has a total of $437m (£370m) to date. In May, it acquired German battery cell developer and manufacturer EAS for €36m (£30m).

The University of Warwick renewed its contract with Britishvolt in June to develop battery cell technology.