British Battery Start-Up Files For Bankruptcy
mercredi 18 janvier 2023, 01:45 , par Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the New York Times: Britishvolt, a prominent battery start-up that generated enthusiasm from British politicians but never commercially produced a battery, filed for insolvency on Tuesday. The collapse deals a blow to Britain's ambitions to develop low-carbon businesses to replace some of the trade lost under Brexit. It also threatens the future of Britain's auto industry, which requires domestic sources of electric batteries if it is to thrive.
Founded in 2019, Britishvolt promoted itself as a British domestic champion. It had plans to build a 3.8 billion pound (or $4.7 billion) battery factory near Blyth in northeast England, creating 3,000 jobs. Despite forming partnerships with companies like the carmaker Aston Martin and Glencore, the commodities trading house, it failed to raise enough money to either construct the factory or perfect its battery technologies. The company said Tuesday that it was forced into administration, analogous to filing for bankruptcy. On Tuesday, all but 26 of the 232 employees at Britishvolt's main unit learned that they had lost their jobs.
The insolvency raises important questions about the future of the British auto industry. The government is pushing carmakers to rapidly convert to building electric cars, with a ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel-powered cars beginning 2030. The idea is to both meet far-reaching targets on reducing emissions and to keep pace with an enormous shift to electric cars that is rippling through the global auto industry. Experts, though, say Britain does not have sufficient sources lined up to build the batteries that make up a high proportion of the contents of electric vehicles. Ideally, these devices should be made near car assembly plants in order to meet local content rules and because they are heavy and costly to ship.
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