Hundreds of workers have reportedly been made redundant at BritishVolt, a start-up partly backed by the UK government that has run out of money. BritishVolt had ambitions to supply the UK car industry with a large number of batteries for future electric vehicles.
The company has been on the brink of collapse for months after failing to meet targets to secure critical UK government funding. The development of private financing by investors was based on the UK Government’s approval of the financing.
Analysts note that the company was set up to build a battery factory before it received orders from electric vehicle manufacturers – a strategy that has been criticized by some.
However, Britishvolt’s manufacturing facility in the North East of England is considered a valuable asset, particularly well suited to battery manufacturing and international shipping.
The three-year-old Britishvolt project has been hailed by the UK government as an example of the UK at the forefront of investing in emerging sustainable industries. However, after securing an initial tranche of investment from Glencore and others, it has struggled to find the necessary major funding commitments for the next phase of its plans.