The company that hopes to set up a Northumberland giga-factory producing batteries for electric cars has called on a German engineering giant to design its production line.
Britishvolt, which aims to build the battery plant in Cambois, near Blyth, has reached an initial deal worth over £ 70million with Manz AG for machinery to produce lithium-ion batteries .
The German company, which has already worked with Britishvolt during the planning phase of the gigafactory project, said that its design would allow “a high degree of flexibility and can also be adapted to future market requirements for sizes and geometries of cells “.
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The two companies also agreed to further expand their cooperation to support Britishvolt’s growth plans, both in Northumberland and with a planned second site in Canada.
Britishvolt is trying to raise more than £ 1 billion to make its plans for the North East a reality, saying it will create 3,000 direct jobs in the gigafactory when it is fully operational, along with thousands more in its Supply Chain.
Timon Orlob, Global COO of Britishvolt, said: “Britishvolt aims to become a cleantech leader in the lithium-ion battery cell development and manufacture industry. The performance of a battery is closely linked to its manufacture. Therefore, we need high quality and efficient equipment to deliver our efficient cells.
“Manz AG, with its experience and expertise in engineering and automation, as well as being already well positioned and aligned with our potential customers, clearly understanding the latest trends and market requirements. As such, Manz AG is the right partner for our initial production equipment. Innovative and artificial intelligence-based manufacturing equipment will become a central part of our operational strategy.
“This allows us to realize the full potential of our first gigasite in Northumberland, creating production efficiencies and reducing operating costs and energy consumption. To be successful it is essential to choose the right partner and I think we have found it in the excellent team at Manz AG.
Manz AG is already working with BMW to set up a battery production line in Germany.
Automakers are scrambling to set up mass battery production facilities to meet deadlines for transitioning from gasoline and diesel to electric models by the early 2030s.
Sunderland automaker Nissan is working with battery partner Envision AESC to rapidly ramp up production on Wearside, with plans having recently gained planning approval.
Martin Drasch, CEO of Manz AG: “With the investment in the English site in Northumberland County, Britishvolt is now securing the resources necessary for its growth strategy on time.
With our many years of experience in the development of production concepts and innovative solutions for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, we are a sought-after partner at the international level.
“Our cooperation with Britishvolt is a remarkable example of this. Together, we are working to make production more sustainable overall and drastically reduce the total cost of ownership by constantly reducing energy consumption and continuously optimizing processes through the use of artificial intelligence.
“We are very proud to have been able to convince Britishvolt of our capabilities and look forward to growing with our new partner in the years to come. “