Image: Britishvolt/Isobel Sheldon.

Battery manufacturer Britishvolt has appointed a new chief strategy officer as it continues to work towards the UK’s first gigafactory.

Isobel Sheldon has been appointed both chief strategy officer and head of the Advisory Board, joining the company from the government-backed UK Battery Industrialisation Centre where she held the position of director of business development.

Sheldon has also held senior leadership positions within global companies, Britishvolt said, and recently was the engineering and technology director at Johnson Matthey Battery Systems. Overall, Sheldon has over 20 years of experience in the lithium-ion battery industry.

“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,” Sheldon said on her appointment.

Lars Carlstrom, founder and CEO at Britishvolt said Sheldon was the “perfect fit” due to her “rare skillset” and background, helping her to understand the technical and chemical aspects of batteries whilst “being able to implement this into a business paradigm to create value for our shareholders”.

In her new role, she is to support Britishvolt’s plans to create the UK’s first large scale cell gigaplant in collaboration with AMTE Power.

The factory will have a production capacity of up to 35GWh, with a product launch date of 2023. It is most likely to be located in Wales, although a decision has not yet been made.

Sheldon said that the first few months of the project “will be of huge importance”, with Britishvolt “laying 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.”