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New battery business will create jobs

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New jobs will be created after a battery firm launched near Coventry Airport last week.

The business named Volklec will work with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), it was announced on Wednesday, 15 May.

It will create sustainable batteries for electric vehicles.

Imran Khatri, Volklec founder, said: “Volklec has been many months and significant investment in the making, established to help the UK’s decarbonisation drive.

“As a proud investment in the UK, our initial focus is on the automotive industry, providing security of supply to the sector, then we intend to look at the broader electrification markets as well.”

Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC managing director, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Volklec to UKBIC and to become their launch base here in the heart of the UK automotive industry.

“Our purpose-built facility is where businesses can develop their battery manufacturing processes at the scale they need to move to industrial production.

“This agreement marks the start of Volklec’s journey to create a battery with the potential to scale up to significant volumes in the coming years, and we are proud to support the business in the initial phase of their development.

“Manufacturing cells at volume is vital to ensuring the UK prospers from the energy transition towards net zero, and this agreement further demonstrates the unique value of UKBIC to the battery ecosystem.”

The UKBIC opened in 2021 with funding from the government and West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and is owned by Coventry City Council.

Councillor hails ‘good news’ as gigafactory moves closer

Coventry councillor Jim O’Boyle hailed the news that Volklec had launched.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “I think it’s good news because it demonstrates that again Coventry seems to be the place where more and more of these businesses are coming to locate because of Greenpower Park and plans around the gigafactory.”

On Thursday May 16, council leader Cllr George Duggins described Greenpower Park, a project that involves a West Midlands gigafactory as its main tenant, as “tantalisingly close.” Asked about this today, May 17, Cllr O’Boyle said: “These conversations are being had.

“I have met an investor that does want to make Coventry its home for battery manufacturing,” he added.

But they still need to get their contracts in place with a customer and “all the other things you’d expect them to do,” he said.

“In industry, it will be ready when it’s ready – it’s not for me to chivvy them along. That’s the nature of it.” He added: “I still remain very optimistic.”

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