The government has unveiled its eagerly awaited Battery Strategy, a plan to strengthen local supply chains for EV's.
The Battery Strategy is a clear roadmap to enhance domestic supply chains for electric vehicles and reduce the current high demand for Chinese-made batteries. The strategy discusses the allocation of £2 Billion, which will be used for capital, research, and development funding until 2030, with a heavy focus on zero-emission vehicles, EV batteries and the supply chains that go with them.
The strategy follows a 15-point plan, some key points of the plan are:
A huge point in the development of electric vehicles is Gigafactories, which offer huge benefits to the industry. A Gigafatory is a term which was popularised by Tesla, one of the world's leading electric vehicle companies.
The factory's main purpose is to build lithium-ion batteries which are an essential part of electric vehicles and renewable energy storage systems, as well as the vehicles themselves and some solar products.
There is currently only one Gigafactory in the UK, this is a Chinese-owned factory in Sunderland. On the other hand, France has four, Germany has nine, the US has 34, and China has a huge 283, showing a massive difference in the funding priorities across the world when it comes to Gigafactories.
The latest plan for a Gigafactory in the UK is the Jaguar Land Rover factory, likely to be based in Somerset. Tata, which owns Jaguar Land Rover, has been hailed by Rishi Sunak over their plans for the £4 Billion factory. It will become one of Europe's largest factories and is set to start production in 2026, producing 40 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of batteries a year.
Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State for Industry and Economic Security at the Department for Business and Trade and Minister of State for the Investment Security Unit at the Cabinet Office, said:
“The government’s 2030 vision is for the UK to have a globally competitive battery supply chain that supports economic prosperity and the net zero transition. The UK will be a world leader in sustainable battery design and manufacture, underpinned by a thriving battery innovation ecosystem. Batteries represent one of the highest growth clean energy sectors and the UK is well placed to reap the rewards thanks to its comparative advantage in research and advanced manufacturing.”
The UK government's Battery Strategy, backed by a £2 billion investment, marks a significant milestone in the nation's journey towards a greener future. This comprehensive plan not only aims to reduce reliance on foreign battery supplies but also fosters innovation and growth within the domestic electric vehicle (EV) industry. With key investments in research, development, and infrastructure, particularly in gigafactories and emerging battery technologies, the UK is positioning itself as a global leader in sustainable battery production and EV technology. The Jaguar Land Rover Gigafactory in Somerset is a testament to this commitment, promising to enhance the UK's competitive edge in the clean energy sector. As Minister Nusrat Ghani highlights, this strategy is not just an economic venture; it is a crucial step towards the UK's 2030 vision of sustainable industry and net-zero transition, ensuring that the nation remains at the forefront of the rapidly growing clean energy market.