‘Battery Corridor’: Britishvolt plots £200m cell R&D centre in West Midlands

Major new plans for a £200m “battery corridor” in the West Midlands focused on electric vehicle battery cell research and development have been unveiled today by rapidly growing firm Britishvolt alongside real estate operator Proglosis.

Under a partnership between the two firms, they plan to build a new UK battery cell scale-up facility in the region, citing the site’s proximity to other key firms such as the Warwick Manufacturing Group, the Advanced Propulsion Center and the UK Battery Industrialization Center in the region.

The announcement was hailed by the region’s Mayor, Andy Street, as a “seismic vote of confidence” in the area’s emerging status as a hub for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.

Britishvolt, which was recently valued at around £1bn, said it expected the project to create upwards of 150 highly skilled, well-paid jobs, and that the new facility would link up with the ‘Gigaplant’ battery manufacturing facility it is building in Northumberland .

“This is another important milestone for Britishvolt and its world class automotive industry,” said Paul Franklin, property director at Britishvolt. “I am delighted to see Britishvolt lead the UK’s journey into re-industrialisation with the first full-scale battery Gigaplant. The new scale-up facilities announced today will help the UK build on its home-grown battery intellectual property and level up the country ready for the energy transition.”

The facility at Prologis Park Hams Hall in Birmingham’s Coleshill area is expected to be completed in July, after which it is set to focus on the development and production of new cell formats and electro chemistries to create higher performance, production-ready batteries, said Britishvolt .

The firm said its aim was to improve efficiencies in order to lower cell costs and thereby create more affordable EVs, it said.

It follows a raft of partnership bespoke battery development deals announced by Britishvolt in recent months, including with Lotus Cars and Aston Martin Lagonda.

Proglosis said it was aiming to ensure its facility achieves net zero carbon certification and an EPC A energy efficiency rating in operation.

“Prologis is committed to embedding sustainability into every aspect of our business,” said Tom Price, capital leasing and deployment director at Prologis. “The reputation of Hams Hall and the location’s connections to the UK automotive sector has allowed us to embark on a wider conversation with Britishvolt. With battery technology seen as the way forward, it’s exciting to be working in this growing sector.”

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