Electric Vehicle Battery Start-Up Britishvolt ‘Near Collapse’

Artist's depiction of planned Britishvolt electric vehicle battery plant in Blyth. Image credit: Britishvolt

UK electric vehicle battery start-up Britishvolt said to be near to entering administration as funding talks reach dead end

British electric vehicle battery start-up Britishvolt was set to enter administration as early as Monday as the company’s efforts to bring in more funding reached a dead end, according to several reports.

The company had been developing a £3.8 billion “gigafactory” in north-east England and was backed by companies including mining group Glencore.

It had also received a promise of £100m from the British government, but that funding was only to be provided once the factory’s construction work hit a certain milestone that has not been reached, according to the Financial Times.

A Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle. Image: Mercedes-Benz
A Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle. Image: Mercedes-Benz

Funding talks

Britishvolt executives had been trying to unlock funding from government sources and elsewhere as they sought to raise an additional £200m or sell the company outright, reports said, citing unnamed sources.

They had been in advanced talks with potential buyers including Tata Motors, which owns Jaguar Land Rover.

Britishvolt’s factory in Blyth, Northumberland, was expected to create 3,000 jobs and was hailed by then-prime minister Boris Johnson in January for potentially bringing “thousands of new highly-skilled jobs to communities in our industrial heartlands”.

The company said in a statement it was “aware of market speculation” and was “actively working on several potential scenarios that offer the required stability”.

Production delays

There had been several delays in the start of production at the plant, the most recent to the middle of 2025, for which the firm blamed “difficult external economic headwinds including rampant inflation and rising interest rates”.

Britishvolt had obtained memoranda of understanding to make batteries for UK car firms Aston Martin and Lotus but had generated no revenues.

The firm was criticised for its unusual practice of building a factory and then finding customers, rather than security firm orders before constructing a plant.

Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said the “disastrous news” from Britishvolt was the result of a Conservative government that has “run Britain’s economy down over twelve years” and failed to back growing industries.

Electric transition

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the government was “determined to ensure the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing as we transition to electric vehicles, while ensuring taxpayer money is used responsibly and provides best-value”.

Sweden’s Northvolt battery project, which has been backed by the European Union, began production at the end of last year.