Britain charging up to dominate battery market as ‘global powerhouse’


The UK is fast becoming a global powerhouse in the flourishing electric battery market leading experts have claimed.

In a blow to China, Dave OudeNijeweme – Head of Technology Trends at the Advanced Propulsion Centre said the Trade and Cooperation Agreement has created a local market for the UK (and indeed the EU) and explained Britain will now be insulated from external factors impacting the supply chain.

Mr OudeNijeweme said:

“The UK will maintain its market share of car manufacturing.

“The area to play for will be the raw materials needed for batteries.

“Brexit negotiations and the TCA have put us in one market for batteries.

“Both EU and UK agreed that more of these materials and batteries are made locally within our own market.

“So you can’t just import materials and batteries.

“Due to those rules, it’s driving localisation of those batteries and the key materials.”

Since leaving the EU, the UK has primed itself as a key place for battery production, as seen with Nissan’s new £1bn electric vehicle hub and battery gigafactory in Sunderland.

UK start-up, British Volt has also announced the creation of an all-purpose gigafactory in Northumberland while another £2.5 billion automotive battery production facility near Coventry has also been announced in the West Midlands.

A consortium of seven UK-based organisations have also signed a memorandum of understanding to combine ambitions to develop world-leading prototype solid-state battery technology, targeting automotive applications.

Plus the Government recently announced £10 million for a Faraday Battery Challenge which is supporting seventeen British projects making electric vehicle (EV) batteries safer, more powerful, cheaper, faster-charging and easier to recycle.

British marque Rolls-Royce is also leading the way with £80m investment in aviation batteries.

China set 2025 as a goal to increase its electrical production as part of its ‘Made in China’ target, and although it is ahead of the UK, Britain is fast becoming a major global player in this burgeoning market.

Mr OudeNijeweme claimed Britain will now be well insulated in the market and has all to play for. He said:

“It doesn’t matter as with the Brexit deal and the wish of the EU Commission and Goverenment to localise you can’t just import Chinese materials and batteries.

“There will be carbon taxes as well, so that’s another mechanism to protect us from Chinese materials.

“So ultimately it doesn’t matter as the local market will be Europe.

“So we need to be competitive with Europe.”

Ben Kilbey, Chief Communication Officer at BritishVolt said the UK is primed to become a “powerhouse” in solid-state battery production – a more efficient and effective battery than conventional competitors.

He said:

“Solid-state technology is in its infancy but it is the holy grail.

“The UK could become a global battery powerhouse in the industry.

“We aim to partner with academia to make sure the UK is at the vanguard of electrification.

“It’s very possible the UK will be at the forefront of the industry if we act now.

“UK plc has the opportunity to be at the forefront of electricity and technological advancement.

“It will put us in the middle of the global battery map.”

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