Is UK’s Battery Future In The Balance?

Sat 19th Feb 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised that the UK will be at the forefront of global battery production creating thousands of jobs and putting the country as a world leader for electric vehicle technology. However, a new report has said that British industry is already falling behind in its targets.

Analysis which has been given to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has said that the government is falling behind on forecasts and will be only at 50 per cent of capacity for the battery industry by 2030.

Sky News is reporting that the UK needs to increase the amount of lithium, cobalt and graphite it imports, by 90 times the current levels, if it is going to be able to meet the demand for the key elements needed to produce batteries.

The research, which has been put together by one of the world’s biggest influences in the battery industry, and suggests that thousands of jobs could be at risk if the government does not act swiftly. With Boris Johnson committing to a ban on the production of petrol and diesel engines by 2030, there are concerns that a lack of gigafactories will have a significant impact on car production. The report by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has projected that the UK will have just short of 70 gigawatt hours of battery production, but to meet anticipated demand this needs to be at 175 GWh.

A spokesperson for the government said: "The UK continues to be one of the best locations in the world for auto manufacturing, with a major government investment programme of up to £1bn to electrify our supply chain and help meet future demand for batteries and their raw materials.

"As a result, we have already seen major investments in battery production from Britishvolt and Envision AESC which will create thousands of jobs across the country.

"We will also publish a strategy this year outlining how we will ensure the UK has a resilient, long term supply chain for critical minerals."