The collapse of the UK’s electric vehicle champion

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INTRO: Britishvolt was meant to be the UK’s answer to Tesla. By 2024, it was supposed to be producing hundreds of thousands of lithium-ion batteries a year for the British automotive sector, and driving an industrial renaissance for the economically deprived northeast of the country.

Since its launch in 2019, the company had amassed nearly $2.5 billion in funding promises, including £100 million ($123 million) from the UK government, and preliminary deals to supply batteries to Aston Martin and Lotus.

But barely nine months after it broke ground on its “gigafactory” in Northumberland in August 2022, Britishvolt has gone into administration, the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US. The majority of its 232 staff are being made redundant.

It’s a chaotic end to a startup that had enormous ambitions and was billed as a cornerstone of the UK’s electric vehicle industry. Its collapse has left staff, analysts, and policymakers scrambling to understand how it could have gone so wrong so fast, and what it means for the future of the UK’s battery business... (MORE - details)

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