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Britishvolt valuation plunges 96% in blow to UK EV ambitions

Battery start-up Britishvolt had been holding emergency talks as it seeks a last-minute reprieve to avoid tumbling into administration (Britishvolt/PA) (PA Media)
Battery start-up Britishvolt had been holding emergency talks as it seeks a last-minute reprieve to avoid tumbling into administration (Britishvolt/PA) (PA Media)

The UK’s ambitions to become a key player in the global market for electric vehicles suffered a blow today after the valuation of battery start-up Britishvolt fell over 90%.

A rescue deal has valued the beleaguered EV battery maker at just £32 million, according to reports in the Financial Times, down from the £774 million it was valued at in a funding round in February last year.

Shareholders have until Friday to approve the new deal, the FT reported.

The firm, which secured additional financing to stave off bankruptcy last year, said it was in talks with a consortium of investors in order to help finance the construction of its Blythe battery factory, Bloomberg earlier reported.

The business is seen as a crucial element of the UK’s drive to grow its electric vehicle manufacturing capability. In January last year, it received an in-principle offer of government funding as part of its Automotive Transformation Fund, an £850 million programme to electrify Britain’s automotive supply chain.

Former prime miniter Boris Johnson hailed the construction of its Blythe facility, which was set to create 3,000 new jobs, as “a strong testament to the skilled workers of the North East and the UK’s place at the helm of the global green industrial revolution.”

Once complete, Britishvolt’s Blythe factory is set to produce enough batteries for over 300,000 electric vehicles each year. The business has signed a number of deals to produce batteries for carmakers since the beginning of last year, including an agreement with luxury brand Aston Martin to develop high-performance battery technology.