EV battery startup Britishvolt buys German company for €36 million

01 June 2022


Britishvolt, an electric-vehicle (EV) battery startup, plans to buy German battery-cell developer EAS from Monbat Group. The deal, worth €36 million, will help the company scale up production of low-carbon lithium-ion batteries.

The UK startup has signed a sale and purchase agreement with Bulgaria-based Monbat Group, a European battery-solutions company. The deal is still subject to approval but is expected to be completed soon, with Britishvolt saying the acquisition complements its research and development efforts.

EAS specialises in advanced battery technology and Britishvolt is planning further investments in the German business. Another focus will be on developing greater battery cells and system capacities. The acquisition is the second in Britishvolt’s history, and its first overseas purchase.

What are lithium-ion batteries?

Lithium ions are a key component in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, with these ions moving from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during the charging and discharging process. Lithium-ion batteries provide several benefits due to their very high energy densities and comparatively low maintenance. Their ability to store high,-capacity power makes lithium-ion batteries suitable for a range of applications, including EVs and consumer electronics.

Lithium-ion battery solutions

EAS is fully owned by the Monbat Group and is known for producing large-format cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells. Its products have been adopted by several industries, including the automotive sector in Europe, Asia, and North America. One of the company’s prominent partners is NASA, which relies on EAS’ battery cells.

Monbat Group said it would continue to be part of the lithium-ion industry through its minority stake in Britishvolt.

‘The deal structure fully supports the roadmap for the development of EAS and the Monbat Group,’ said Victor Spiriev, CEO of Monbat. ‘We believe Britishvolt is the right partner that has the necessary resources to become a leader in providing lithium-ion solutions for electrified transportation and energy storage.’

Britishvolt’s gigafactory

Britishvolt has ambitious plans to build a battery gigafactory in Northumberland, UK, with its battery cells primarily destined for automotive customers. The plant, once completed, will provide enough cells for 300,000 EV battery packs per year and the first units will roll off the production line in 2024.

The UK government is backing Britishvolt’s endeavours to build a large-scale EV battery gigafactory in England, offering a £100 million (€117 million) grant to the startup earlier this year. Britishvolt is also working with sports-carmakers Aston Martin and Lotus to develop high-performance EV batteries.

Britishvolt said the acquisition of EAS would allow it to scale up the final part of its 46xx cell-development and commercialisation programme.  

‘EAS has a proven track record in providing innovative, tailor-made battery-cell solutions for its customers, and it makes strategic sense that we join forces and grow together,’ said Orral Nadjari, founder and CEO of Britishvolt. ‘We intend to make additional investments in EAS to help to ensure that it can reach its full potential within the Britishvolt family.’

The startup has recently partnered with logistics real-estate operator Prologis to build battery cell scale-up facilities in the UK, with an investment exceeding £200 million in the West Midlands. The company said the facility will complement its gigaplant operations.