Luxury car maker Aston Martin has signed an agreement with Britishvolt as it develops a gigafactory to produce batteries for electric vehicles at its plant on the Northumberland coast.
The memorandum of understanding is part of Aston Martin’s plans to launch its first battery-powered vehicle by 2025 and is a further boost to the plans for the gigafactory at Cambois, near Blyth.
A joint research and development team from the two companies will design, develop, and industrialise battery packs, as well as working together to maximise the capability of special high performance cells being developed by Britishvolt for use in high performance Aston Martin electric vehicles.
The collaboration with Britishvolt will be complementary to Aston Martin’s partnership with Mercedes-Benz Group AG, in which the German carmaker is providing hybrid and electric drive systems in exchange for more shares.
The agreement with Aston Martin is Britishvolt’s second with an automaker this year. It signed a similar preliminary deal with sports-car maker Lotus in January.
Automakers typically have to accept trade-offs between different battery-performance characteristics, such as energy density and power. Britishvolt is developing cells for high-end vehicles that will minimize these compromises.
Orral Nadjari, founder and chief executive officer at Britishvolt, said: “For a prestigious marque such as Aston Martin, staying true to its world-renowned brand of ultra-luxury, high-performance vehicles, whilst transitioning to electrification, means insisting on customised, sustainable battery cell technology that pushes the boundaries of performance. Britishvolt is excited to be collaborating with Aston Martin, helping accelerate that switch to electrification – I believe we make formidable partners.
“This collaboration once again highlights the value of working hand-in-glove with customers to co-develop and manufacture tailored, sustainable, localised battery cells, allowing vehicle makers to deliver superior products. Technologies that reset the benchmarks.
“We are excited about the prospect of an all-electric Aston Martin powered by Britishvolt’s low carbon, sustainable battery cells. Collaboration like this is the only way forward for a successful energy transition.”
Construction work to create a gigafactory on the former coal yards at the old Blyth Power Station is due to start in the next few weeks. The plant is due to open in 2024, with hopes it will create 3,000 direct jobs and another 5,000 in its supply chain.
Funding from the Government of “tens of millions” led to £1.7bn backing from finance groups Tritax and abrdn, while Britishvolt is also hoping to raise another £200m to support its plans.