Britishvolt, a UK-based manufacturing firm that also has a strong presence in Canada, will soon be building battery cells in Quebec to serve the North American EV industry. Electric Autonomy Canada reports that Britishvolt is close to finalizing plans to build a 60 GWh battery cell factory, an R&D center, and an anode and cathode processing facility.
“I got in touch with Britishvolt when the government of Quebec issued their international request for interest to set up a battery ecosystem in Quebec and called for companies all around the world who were interested in being part of that,” Britishvolt Canada President Philippe Couillard told Electric Autonomy. “Britishvolt is an innovative tech company, which was born out of the fantastic UK [battery] ecosystem with the desire to repatriate the supply chain to the UK and surrounding European countries.”
“The core component of this mission is to really help assist the race to lower the carbon footprint. How do we do that? Basically, by creating an ecosystem,” Anna Vujovic, Britishvolt’s Head of Business Development in North America, told Electric Autonomy. “Our initiative from day one was to build this gigafactory and manufacture these battery cells in Quebec…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 with the support of the federal government.”
The company says it is evaluating a “strategic location” in Quebec with access to a deepwater port, railway connections to North America and renewable energy sources. Britishvolt says the facility will be powered by hydroelectricity, and will have a low-carbon footprint and minimal non-recyclable waste.
In August, Britishvolt announced that Glencore acquired a stake in the company as part of a strategic partnership under which the mining giant will supply Britishvolt’s battery factory with cobalt. In October, Britishvolt joined the Fair Cobalt Alliance in order to bring “responsible, fair and transparent” activity to cobalt sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The company is interested in making more than cells. “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.”
Britishvolt is not the only company planning a cell factory in Quebec. At a recent EV industry conference, Ontario-based Stromvolt said it is actively seeking premises, government funding and partnerships to build a 10 GWh battery cell facility.
Source: Electric Autonomy Canada