Former Britishvolt chief Carlstrom launches 'Italvolt' battery plant project for Italy

by John Shepherd
Britishvolt has distanced itself from former CEO, Lars Carlstrom (above), who is heading up new Italian gigafactory project.
The CEO of Italian battery start-up Italvolt, Lars Carlstrom, has announced the company plans to invest around €4bn (£4.3bn) in building a gigafactory in Italy – just weeks after he quit as co-founder and CEO of UK gigafactory project, Britishvolt.

Carlstrom said last December he was "stepping aside to avoid becoming a distraction” to the Britishvolt project, after it emerged he had been convicted of tax fraud in Sweden more than 20 years ago.

A spokesperson for Britishvolt told World Battery News today that the UK firm had "no connections” with Carlstrom’s new project – although acknowledged Carlstrom is currently a Britishvolt shareholder.

'Full separation'

"Lars was one of the founders and was on the board of Britishvolt until he stepped down at the end of last year,” the spokesperson said.

"There is going to be a full separation with Lars in due course and that is ongoing.”

Carlstrom had yet to respond to World Battery News’ request for comment at the time this article was published.

'Pioneering industrialist'

However, in a statement released yesterday, Italvolt said Carlstrom was a "pioneer industrialist in the automotive sector”, who will be leading the effort to build a gigafactory in Italy with an initial manufacturing capacity of 45GWh – which could expand to 70GWh.

Italvolt said it was now seeking a potential site for its planned 300,000 sq metre facility. The "first phase” of the project will be completed by spring 2024, the company said.

Last December, UK battery tech developer Britishvolt today named Blyth, in northeast England, as the site of its first electric vehicle battery gigafactory, with a total investment cost of £2.6bn.

The company has acquired exclusive rights to the 95-hectare, former Blythe Power Station site, in Northumberland.

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