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The government has provided final grant support for Britishvolt UK’s proposed Gigafactory in Northumberland through the Vehicle Transformation Fund.
The plant will produce enough batteries for more than 300,000 electric vehicles a year, greatly supporting the UK automotive industry’s transition to a zero-emissions future and increasing the production of electric vehicles. The final grant will allow the project to create 3,000 direct high-skilled jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs across the wider supply chain.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:
“I’m delighted to confirm we have now provided Britishvolt with a final grant offer through the Automotive Transformation Fund. The Blyth gigafactory will turbocharge our plans to embed a globally competitive electric vehicle supply chain in the UK and it is fantastic to see how the project is progressing.
“The vast site will ensure Britain can fully capture the benefits of the booming global electric vehicle market. The well-paid jobs and growth it will generate for the North East of England will be transformational and are exactly the reason we are investing to make the UK the best place in the world for automotive manufacturing.”
The government initially announced its support for the project in January 2022.
The Automotive Transformation Fund is an £850m scheme to electrify the UK automotive supply chain and protect our country’s competitiveness in global markets.
China’s BYD electric car is on its way to Japan.
Chinese cars are coming to Japan for the first time in living memory – with electric car brand BYD leading the way and three models should also arrive in Australia.
Electric vehicle specialist BYD is believed to be the first Chinese mass-market automaker to enter the Japanese market – offering a range of small and medium-sized cars.
While Chinese cars are growing in popularity in Australia – MG, Great Wall Motors, Haval and LDV are among the fastest growing brands in the country – they are few and far between in Japan, mostly limited to the ultra-exclusive and very niche Hongqi limousine, and several vans from Geely.
Emerging electric vehicle maker Build Your Dreams (BYD) wants to change that, announcing plans to launch three new models in Japan next year: the Atto 3 small SUV, the Dolphin Hatch and the Seal sedan.
BYD has been selling battery packs, electric buses and forklifts in Japan since 1999 — but this is the first time it has sold a passenger car in Japan.
The Chinese Electric Vehicle brand will launch in Japan next year, a few months after its full arrival in Australia and New Zealand, starting with the BYD Atto 3 – which will hit showrooms in August for $44,381.
According to an earlier statement from BYD’s Australian importer EVDirect, local orders will open by “December 2022” for two more models – expected to be the BYD Dolphin and BYD Seal, under the Atto brand name (likely the Atto 2 and Atto 4).
The BYD Atto 3 will be the company’s first model to be launched in Japan in January 2023, followed by the Dolphin (without the Atto badge) in mid-2023 and the Seal in the second half of next year.
As we all know, Japan is a market that is difficult for foreign brands to gain a foothold and consumers to accept.
Of the 4.4 million cars sold in Japan last year, only about 340,000 (or less than 8%) were imported – a number that would only rank No. 1 on the bestseller list if all imported cars were sold under one brand.
By contrast – excluding hybrids and plug-in hybrids, where Toyota and other Japanese brands dominate – about 40 percent of all Electric Vehicle sales in Japan come from outside of Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi or Honda brand.
This is due to the large number of EVs available from European brands – including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen, which are the 11th, 13th and 14th best-selling brands in Japan in 2021 – and most Japanese automakers are reluctant to Go all-electric.
Auto giant Toyota — which sold a third of its cars in its home market last year — launched its first global mass-produced electric vehicle in Japan just a few months ago, while Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Honda offers no more than one or two all-electric vehicles each.
Notably, thanks to the popularity of the Leaf subcompact, Nissan has a strong presence in the Japanese all-electric vehicle market.
“Over the years, BYD has been deeply engaged in the Japanese market and has accumulated a good market and brand foundation through its pure electric buses, energy storage systems, pure electric forklifts and other businesses. Today BYD officially hits the new energy passenger vehicle market in Japan,” said BYD Chairman and President, Wang Chuanfu.
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