Where next for the UK’s automotive and battery industries?

1 min read

Earlier this year the UK government said that Britishvolt would become a leader in the global green industrial revolution with the planned opening of its gigafactory in Blyth, in the Northeast of England.

Since then, no factory and the company is now effectively bankrupt with the UK government failing to provide any financial help to address cashflow problems.

There are currently 41 gigafactories that are operational or planned in western Europe, compared with just two in Britain. European governments are spending billions on attracting battery manufacturers as they look to create a local supply chain for what will be a fundamental technology for the automotive industry going forward.

Tata Group is said to be looking at a rescue bid for Britishvolt, but lack of government funding or even interest for that matter is said to be putting them off. In Sweden, by contrast, Northvolt – a state-backed battery start-up has partnered with Volvo, Volkswagen and BMW and is now truly a global leader in this space.

The difference between the experiences of these two companies appears simple - a proactive industrial strategy. Simply put the UK government needs to get involved and start offering serious incentives to invest - already we’re seeing companies leaving the UK to take advantage of financial incentives elsewhere.

The car industry here in the UK is facing an existential threat to its very future and the UK government needs to act.