Smart Transport

How to jolt the Government into action on EV batteries

Charley Grimston, Altelium chief executive

Author: Charley Grimston, Altelium chief executive

The automotive and green energy industry must unite and call on the Government to dramatically increase the UK’s battery production capacity.

Current plans for UK electric vehicle battery production are far too weak.

The two key groups able to implement change on our behalf, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Climate Change Committee (CCC) need to be given a massive jolt awake.

Even before the trade agreement on Dec 27, 2020, plans for battery production in the UK were at best feeble.

The Government pledged £500 million for mass scale production of batteries as part of its Green Plan in November, but in other countries such as Germany investment is in the billions.

The CCC’s Sixth Carbon Budget in December set a paltry battery storage target of 18 gigawatt hours by 2050, an ‘ambition’ which is likely to be met in the next three years.

The batteries we make for electric vehicles (EV) will go on to provide battery storage for renewable energy. 

The Government seems to have a blind spot here and cannot see how completely entwined the EV industry and green energy industry are.

We need to make EV batteries in the UK to meet the new EU trade agreement terms to supply 55% of EV parts locally by 2026. And we also need the batteries to meet our carbon reduction targets.

To ensure the UK’s place as a leader in both automotive technology and clean energy requires a dramatic increase in understanding and investment in battery manufacture by the Government.

Can our industries unite and make the powerful call to action the country needs?

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