The UK-based technology and manufacturing firm is incorporated in Canada, has a Montreal office and tells Electric Autonomy in an exclusive interview that it is close to securing premises in Quebec for its second gigafactory to serve the North American EV industry and plans to expand into cathodes and R&D
Technically, Britishvolt's Canadian seat doubles as Denton's senior business advisor Philippe Couillard's office. But that makes sense as Couillard, along with a small but growing team, is largely responsible for bringing the British technology and manufacturing company to Canada - and which this week revealed to Electric Autonomy Canada in an exclusive interview its plan to build a 60GWh battery cell gigafactory, an R&D centre, and anode and cathode processing set up in Quebec…Britishvolt's disclosure is the second announcement of a battery cell factory coming to Quebec made this week. At the 2021 Electric Mobility Canada conference, Ontario-based Stromvolt (no affiliation with Britishvolt) said it, too, is actively seeking premises, government funding and partnerships to build out a 10GWh lithium-ion battery cell factory…At its core, Britishvolt is a clean technology and manufacturing company, founded in 2019 by Orral Nadjari, a financial investor formerly in the Middle East. The company is headquartered in the West Midlands (considered the centre of the British auto industry) and is currently constructing a 30GWh battery plant in Northumberland - the first large-scale battery plant for electric vehicles in the UK…"Britishvolt is an innovative tech company, which basically was born out of the fantastic UK ecosystem and lithium-ion battery," says Couillard. "The company was formed out of this ecosystem with the desire to repatriate the supply chain to the UK and surrounding European countries."… "Britishvolt does its own financing, fundraising and development. The same method will be used in Canada: we will own the site and we will own the factory. And, of course, we will have significant partnerships in the region in the country," explains Couillard…In early 2021, Britishvolt Canada, subsidiary of Britishvolt PLC, set up an office in Montreal and registered lobbyists with the Quebec government and at the federal level. The aim of lobbying efforts, public records show, are "Obtaining financial support from the federal government for the construction of a battery manufacturing plant in Canada."…"Our initiative from day one was to build this gigafactory in Quebec and manufacture these battery cells in Quebec. [Then] also build a corridor between Quebec and Ontario and have these battery cells assembled in Ontario because we have an easy access to local OEMs. Both provinces are collaborating, working strongly towards this, this mission and with the support of the federal government."…Britishvolt says the facility will be powered by hydroelectricity and will be state-of-the-art with a low-carbon footprint and minimal non-recyclable waste for an operation that represents "manufacturing of the future" and is in line with its ESG standards…"We have a strong interest in that site - it's quite an ideal location," says Couillard. The site will give Britishvolt proximity to: a deepwater port, railway connections to the North American network (providing an option for lower-carbon transportation) and renewable energy sources…And, in August, Britishvolt announced that Glencore PLC acquired a stake in the company as part of a strategic partnership that would see the mining giant supply Britishvolt's battery factory with cobalt. In October, Britishvolt announced it joined the Fair Cobalt Alliance in order to bring "responsible, fair and transparent" activity to cobalt sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo…With its keen interest reciprocated by the Canadian government, Britishvolt has spent the last eight months putting the pieces of its plan in play…"We want to be as vertically integrated as we can, and also include the cathode and anode manufacturing in the business model," says Couillard. "We've got all the raw materials necessary here in the country, but there's the link between the raw material and the battery material that needs to be developed. We are going in exactly that direction. Our intention is to, as much as possible, integrate cathode and anode manufacturing, in the process of what we're doing."…"Something that happens often in the technology world and building here in Canada, we have this syndrome of having the raw materials and not commercializing our discoveries. We cannot only export raw minerals, we need to participate in the added value of the supply chain so that's what we're going to do in Canada," says Couillard.
Fortune Minerals Limited published this content on 13 October 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 13 October 2021 14:01:12 UTC.