REA welcomes Government backing for Britishvolt gigafactory

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has welcomed the Government’s in principle offer of funding for Britishvolt’s gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland.

Once operational, the factory will produce enough batteries for over 300,000 electric vehicles each year. The project is also set to create 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000 indirect jobs in the wider supply chain, underlining the economic benefits of decarbonisation.

Manufacturing batteries in the UK is not only great for jobs and investment, but also for the environment, as the batteries are built close to where they can be used instead of being shipped to the UK from the other side of the world.

The REA says that further investment will be needed to deliver the number of gigafactories needed to support the UK’s automotive industry, scale up EV production and move closer towards Net Zero. The proposed project in Coventry is cited as one such development which urgently needs funding.

Additional investment will be required to develop the UK’s battery recycling capability to reduce wastage of rare elements such as lithium and cobalt, the extraction of which is both cost and emissions intensive.

Jacob Roberts, Transport Policy Manager at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said: “This is a really welcome investment from the Government – Britishvolt’s gigafactory in Blyth is now set to be at the heart of the UK’s electric vehicle future.

“With around 8,000 direct and indirect jobs being created, it shows the added value that can be delivered through siting gigafactories in areas in need of jobs and investment, and underlines the economic benefits of decarbonisation as well as the environmental ones.

“Further investment will be needed to deliver the number of gigafactories needed to support the UK’s automotive industry, scale up EV production and move closer towards Net Zero. The proposed project in Coventry is another development which urgently requires funding, so we hope that Britishvolt’s gigafactory will be the first of many to receive Government backing.”

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