Australian startup Recharge wins bid for Britishvolt

1 min read

The Australian startup, Recharge, has won the bid for the failed battery maker Britishvolt.

The company will now have responsibility for building the gigafactory proposed by the failed UK company but, not only that, is now responsible for delivering on the UK automotive industry’s hopes in terms of electrification.

No big ask then and in true UK style the administrators have plumped for a company with plenty of ambition, it already has plans to build a similar factory in Australia, but as yet has not delivered on any major project.

Recharge Industries has certainly moved quickly and in a matter of weeks has put together a plan to supply batteries to the next generation of UK-built electric vehicles, free from Chinese materials.

The deal, which still needs to be finalised, is ambitious and Recharge plans to build lithium-ion batteries free of materials from China or Russia, reducing risks to supply chains.

However, its pitch lent heavily on strategic and diplomatic ties and apparently received support from the British government’s trade envoy for Australia, the ex-English cricketer Ian Botham. Seriously? A great cricketer but a trade envoy?

But I digress. Britishvolt was planning to build the 30GWh factory near Blyth in Northumberland, which on completion was set to become the fourth-biggest building in the UK.

According to those involved in the process the bidders were particularly interested in Britishvolt’s intellectual property, which includes patents, designs, supply chain partners and territorial licences that give the holder a dominant position in the UK.

Recharge relies on battery technology from American lithium-iron battery developer C4V, so if the deal is finalised, Recharge could potentially make batteries using Australian minerals, US technology and British manufacturing.