‘Dedicated’ staff take pay cut to save electric vehicle champion Britishvolt

Employees at struggling electric car battery start-up Britishvolt have agreed to a significant pay cut as the company struggles to secure its long-term future.

Up to 300 employees at the company championed by Boris Johnson will enter a wage-waiver scheme for this month and executives will work for free, it announced on Wednesday.

Britishvolt also confirmed that it has short-term funding that will allow it to survive the coming weeks. Metals giant Glencore, an existing investor, was one of the funders, Bloomberg reported.

The rescue fends off the impending collapse. Britishvolt came close to appointing administrators earlier this week.

Neither the amount of short-term funding nor the vendors were disclosed, but bosses are hoping the money will give them enough breathing room to move to a more sustainable long-term deal.

The company said: “At Britishvolt we continue to have positive discussions with potential investors. In addition, we have also received promising approaches from several other international investors in the past few days.

“The result is that we have now secured the necessary near-term investments which we believe will allow us to bridge the coming weeks to a more secure funding position going forward. In order to further reduce our short-term costs, our dedicated team of employees have also voluntarily agreed to a temporary pay cut for the month of November.”

Britishvolt Chief Executive Graham Hoare told Sky News: “The overwhelming majority of staff are taking a significant pay cut and senior management are taking a full pay cut. It will make a big difference.”

Earlier this week the government rejected a request by Britishvolt to call off about a third of its £100m in state aid.

Britishvolt wants to build a huge gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland. The £3.8bn facility would create 3,000 new jobs. Mr Johnson hailed the plans earlier this year as a “leveling opportunity”. The company currently employs almost 300 people.

Britishvolt said “challenging external factors” had forced chiefs to review funding requirements.

It added: “The weakening economic situation is currently having a negative impact on many business investments.”

On Tuesday, the Telegraph announced that Andy Palmer, former Aston Martin CEO and “grandfather of electric vehicles,” is primed to take over the Britishvolt plant.

InoBat, a Slovak company chaired by an auto industry veteran, has held talks with EY, Britishvolt’s potential administrator, to take on plans to build the plant in Northumberland.

InoBat has already earmarked another site in the UK – in Teesside – as one of two sites to build an electric vehicle battery factory. The second location is in Valladolid in central Spain.

However, sources said the Blyth site would be a serious contender if the Britishvolt bailout falls apart.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/11/02/britishvolt-staff-take-pay-cut-secure-electric-car-battery-champions/ ‘Dedicated’ staff take pay cut to save electric vehicle champion Britishvolt

Russell Falcon

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