UK’s first gigafactory to be built in Wales, says Coventry company

British Volt

A Coventry-based lithium ion battery company has confirmed it will build the UK’s first large-scale battery gigaplant at the former RAF base of Bro Tathan, Wales.

Britishvolt will collaborate on the build project with Italian design house Pininfarina.

The Turin-based Pininfarina legacy spans more than 90 years in innovative automotive design, and more recently an expansion into the field of architecture. After decades of working with top brands such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Peugeot – including a renovation of the Eurostar fleet operating between London and Paris – Pininfarina has a strong heritage in the transport and automotive sectors. Its revolutionary designs will ensure that Britishvolt’s gigaplant is both fit for purpose, and an elegant representation of the future of the UK’s automotive industry.

Orral Nadjari, CEO and Founder at Britishvolt, said: “We are honoured to collaborate with world-renowned design powerhouse Pininfarina, to create our landmark gigaplant. At Britishvolt, we believe in prioritising an innovative design to match the future quality of our lithium ion cells. With Pininfarina bringing the full force of its elegance and heritage in automotive design to architecture, we believe we can accomplish this desire.”

He added: “Britishvolt’s aim to become the world’s first zero carbon battery manufacturer aligns perfectly with Pininfarina’s expertise in creating green, high tech and innovative environments.”

Silvio Pietro Angori, CEO at Pininfarina, added: “We are proud to collaborate with Britishvolt on such an ambitious project, contributing towards creating the UK’s largest battery manufacturing facility, and advancing the evolution of e-mobility.”

Giovanni de Niederhäusern, Senior Vice President of Architecture at Pininfarina, said: “2020 marks the 90th anniversary of Pininfarina. Over the years, we have been able to draw on the expertise gained in the automotive world and apply this to architecture, starting from Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) methodologies for off-site construction, up to the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to evaluate and improve the building’s life-cycle performance.”

Orral Nadjari said: “We are aware of the significant impact our 2.7 million square feet gigaplant will have on the region’s landscape. Interacting with the local community will be a priority for us, and we will ensure that a regular dialogue with the residents and businesses of Bro Tathan takes place. We want this structure to stand as a beautiful testament to the local culture, our greener future, and the country’s world-class expertise in battery research and development – which will only continue to grow.”