LONDON (Reuters) – Tesla Inc is to launch a joint venture with UK-based engineering firm Wentworth to sell its batteries technology to UK government departments in the second phase of a $1.8 billion deal it has agreed to make with the government.
The first phase of the joint venture, which will see Wentworth develop and sell batteries to the government in the UK, is due to be completed in March, and the first battery prototypes will be unveiled in the first half of next year.
Wentworth’s CEO, Dr Andrew Smith, said in a statement the partnership was “an ideal opportunity to work with a leading British engineering firm in the area of energy storage, and to learn from the experiences of Elon Musk”.
“We are very excited to be working with a leader in the industry in Wentworth and its leading technology partners, including Tesla, to deliver innovative batteries for the UK government,” Smith said.
Won’t sell to UK’s energy regulator, it said in the statement.
Tesla has already been working with the energy regulator to set up a battery test lab in the U.K. and a manufacturing facility in Fremantle, Australia, where the company is building its battery pack.
In addition to Tesla, Wentworth will also supply lithium ion batteries to British government departments.
Watworth, which is based in the United Kingdom and has a joint headquarters in Birmingham, is also the lead supplier of batteries for several other European countries.
The UK government is also expected to buy batteries from Tesla for its nuclear power station, the ExCel plant near Paris, and for a fleet of vehicles that will help the government monitor air pollution.
Tesla is also building a battery factory in China, where it will be producing batteries for a variety of vehicles including a hybrid vehicle, a driverless vehicle, and a carpool system.
In January, Tesla said it was in talks with British government agencies to sell batteries that would help it reduce its carbon emissions and its reliance on foreign suppliers for its power and cooling.