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Britishvolt 'moved too fast', says former boss Lars Carlstrom

The former Britishvolt boss has reversed his current leadership after the company narrowly avoided collapse by securing a last-minute funding lifeline.

Britishvolt ‘acted too quickly’, says ex-boss after company was saved from collapse after securing last-minute funding

Criticism: Lars Carlstrom, who resigned as Britishvolt chairman in December 2020, said the right people may not be in charge

The former Britishvolt boss has reversed his current leadership after the company narrowly avoided collapse by securing a last-minute funding lifeline.

Lars Carlstrom, who stepped down as chairman in December 2020, asked if the right people were in charge of the project, which “sped up too fast with too many people on board”.

He said: “We probably could have seen a more successful project if a number of things had been done in a different way.”

His comments came after Britishvolt secured an 11-hour package from investors to keep it afloat after reports emerged it was about to fall into administration, putting some 300 UK jobs at risk. United.

The company has developed Britain’s largest electric car battery factory in Blyth, Northumberland, with the £3.8billion ‘gigafactory’ expected to employ up to 3,000 people by the time it is built. would be fully operational.

But the group faced delays and the resignation of its co-founder and then boss Orral Nadjari in August. He had to scramble to get emergency financing to avoid going bankrupt.

Things got even worse after ministers scrapped plans to inject £100million into the business when it discovered the money would be used to keep it afloat rather than build the factory. Blyth.

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Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, Carlstrom said the government could have made “a very good return” on its investment in Britishvolt, but admitted he disagreed with the way in which the business was run.

He quit after it emerged he had been convicted of tax evasion in Sweden in the 1990s, although he maintained the main reason for leaving was due to disagreements over how to handle the ‘company.

He said: “There are some shortcomings and the reason for my exit was that we couldn’t agree.

“There were collaboration issues and we couldn’t agree on how to get things done in the right direction.”

Carlstrom added that someone “fuelled” the news of his tax conviction to “make my exit smoother and faster.”

Britishvolt was set up in 2019 to make batteries for electric cars and help fuel a green energy revolution in Britain.

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Blyth’s plans have been hailed as an “upgrade opportunity” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The government’s £100m funding helped the company raise a further £1.7bn.

But with its future uncertain, potential buyers are circling the factory – considered one of the best battery manufacturing sites in Europe thanks to its rail and sea links and access to clean energy.

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