Battery manufacturer Britishvolt has announced the appointment of seasoned battery industry professional Isobel Sheldon, as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) and Head of the Advisory Board, to support building the UK’s first large scale cell gigafactory.
In this new role, Isobel’s familiarity with the global battery landscape will allow her to lead a ‘home-grown’ initiative, and become an integral part of Britishvolt and the UK achieving market leading status, in the production of high performance lithium ion cells.
Having amassed nearly 20 years of Lithium ion battery industry experience, she joins the company from the Government-backed UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) – which aims to transition the country into a world leader in cell design, development and manufacture for vehicle electrification – where she served as Director of Business Development. Prior to this, she held senior leadership positions within global companies, recently serving as Engineering and Technology Director at Johnson Matthey Battery Systems, where she led the technical strategy and execution within the battery systems business.
Isobel Sheldon, Chief Strategy Officer at Britishvolt comments: “As one of the first pioneers to integrate lithium ion batteries in road vehicles, including the first commercially available Plug in Hybrid in the world based on the Toyota Prius hybrid in 2003, I have developed a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of disciplines – from cell technology, chemistries and system integration to how the global industry and supply chain works, as well as the processes involved in manufacturing the cells. I take great pride in having grown over time with this nascent industry, which is now of global strategic significance as the world transitions to electrification and green technologies, having learnt some hard lessons through trial and error to spot the industry’s pitfalls and opportunities.”
Isobel Sheldon continues: “Previously working as one of executive team behind the UKBIC’s national asset effort, I am delighted to work with Britishvolt to develop a robust, risk based plan that will help revitalise and strengthen the UK’s manufacturing sector, and honour its heritage and excellence in lithium ion batteries. These first few months will be of huge importance, as Britishvolt lays the foundation from which the whole enterprise will be built. As we go forward with the planning phase, our strategy will be to focus on which technology choices we will carry forward, the location of the facility, and identify the key personnel that will be required to build a roadmap for the future.”
Isobel Sheldon concludes: “This is not only one of the most exciting green projects currently taking place in the world, for both the automotive and energy sectors, but will be of huge national importance as the UK Government looks to fulfil its green agenda and meet its Road to Zero targets. The lithium ion cell industry is one of the fastest growing and dynamic areas of modern technology at the moment, which Britishvolt’s 30 plus GWh gigafactory is ideally positioned to capitalise on, potentially creating more than 4,000 jobs for the UK economy.”
Lars Carlstrom, Founder and CEO at Britishvolt comments: “Isobel was the perfect fit for this hugely significant role, as she has a rare skillset and the background to understand both the technical and chemical aspects of batteries – whilst being able to implement this into a business paradigm to create value for our shareholders. As the birthplace of lithium ion, the UK was a natural choice for us to build a gigafactory, as it remains internationally renowned for its academic excellence in lithium ion research and development. Leveraging Isobel’s global network, from over twenty years of working in the industry, will help establish Britishvolt and the UK as a world-class competitive battery manufacturing hub for sustainable energy storage, and vehicle electrification moving forward.”
Britishvolt has identified the United Kingdom as the potential location for its first GigaPlant. The United Kingdom is the most vibrant and progressive country for industry investments. It is where both history and the future combine to create a new era. Britishvolt is dedicated to supporting sustainable energy storage by producing high performance lithium ion batteries. Our aim is to establish the United Kingdom as the leading force in battery technology with a target product launch date of 2023. The Britishvolt GigaPlant will be situated in 80+ hectares of green industrial park, with a production capacity of up to 35 GWH. Britishvolt will be a global leader in producing high performance green lithium Ion batteries. It will become one of the largest industrial investments in British history.