UK missed boats in global battery race, expert tells MPs


A House of Commons committee said on May 9 that the UK was lagging behind in the race to develop the battery industry after receiving evidence from a panel of experts on battery materials.

Business consultants and executives told parliamentarians during the Business and Trade Commission session that the UK had “been late” to the first wave of the battery revolution and failed to boost the development of a successful supply chain.Best of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Executive Director Simon Moores, when asked about the reason for the poor performance, said:

We then compared the performance of the UK with that of other countries.

“When China and Japan, South Korea, the US and the EU were connected to batteries, they weren’t connected to batteries. We weren’t talking about it, but that’s just how it is for everyone else in the world,” Moore said.

Without a rapid build-up of supply chains, the UK would lose its auto industry, the panel warned, suggesting it could move to central Europe.

Ian Constance, chief executive of the taxpayer-funded Center for Advanced Propulsion, said the auto industry would be severely impacted without Britain’s ‘Keystone’ mass production plants.

Large-scale electric vehicle battery manufacturing plants are also called gigafactories. Moore told MPs the UK would not be involved in the industry or the “energy storage revolution” unless the UK manufactured its own batteries and had chemical plants to fuel them.

“When you build the Gigafactory, you have the critical mineral supply deals, the contracts, the partners to make sure the lithium-ion in the ground makes its way all the way to that battery factory. It’s the heart of the arms race, it’s not just about making cells, it’s about the entire supply chain,” Moore said.

MP Mark Posey says Britain may have ‘grand plans’ to build batteries, but China’s ‘strangle hold’ on the market will limit it from doing so I suggested to the panel that it might be.

Critical Minerals Association founder Jeff Townsend agreed:[China] You can already manipulate the price. They can raise or lower the price as they see fit. They have laws in place to stop exports. They rule the middle class. ”

He continued to emphasize that Britain’s role in the world depends heavily on important minerals.

“At the moment, we are totally dependent on China, which seems to me to be in a very ridiculous position,” Townsend said.

I’m running out of time

Darren Jones, chair of the business choice committee, said if the UK did not match what other electric battery industry leaders were doing, car companies would “move new production to other countries where these supply chains exist. He suggested that he would choose to relocate the line.

“Sadly, I think it’s true. With 800,000 jobs at stake, we can’t take it,” Townsend said.

Faraday Institute chief economist Stephen Gifford said there is an urgent need for investment and early planning for the development of battery production plants. Industry forecasts show that by 2040, he will need 10 20GWh battery production plants, and by 2030, 5.

The UK currently has one small 1.9 gigawatt-hour (GWh) Nissan plant in Sunderland in the North East of England.

Moore suggested that “there are no runners in the race” because Britain currently has no strategy.

“The UK has missed a boat in the first round of supplying these vital materials, and probably in the second round as well. he added.

Gifford, however, disagreed that the British had missed the ship, but said that “time is running out.”

In October 2022, in an effort to revitalize UK manufacturing, the government will: announced We will fund £211m in battery research and innovation to create 100,000 jobs in the battery gigafactory and battery supply chain by 2040.