Road transport’s emissions challenges are – on the face of it – readily solvable by means of electric drive. Whether it is tailpipe pollutants or greenhouse gases, green electricity and batteries or hydrogen and fuel cells offer a means to clean up vehicles. However, that is much more easily said than done and the current reality is that the UK’s vehicle fleet would take many years to electrify, with particular challenges for heavy duty vehicles. In the meantime, low carbon fuels are already here and can make a difference without requiring new vehicles to be developed and sold.
In this age of global supply chains such an apparently old-fashioned approach seems illogical. Senior representatives of the automotive and chemicals sectors came together last night to consider the case for a UK battery industry.
In this age of global supply chains such an apparently old-fashioned approach seems illogical. Senior representatives of the automotive and chemicals sectors came together last night to consider the case for a UK battery industry. They discussed a report, prepared by E4tech, which showed that UK electric vehicle making is set to grow rapidly and that the automotive industry would strongly prefer UK-built batteries to keep supply chains short and shipping costs down. The UK chemical industry is ready to respond and, perhaps surprisingly, many of the chemicals and materials needed are already available in some form in the UK.
Despite the unprecedented level of change facing cars, buses, heavy duty and off highway vehicles, the industries that develop and supply them are keen to work on future technologies together. This shared vision is captured in a definitive set of roadmaps, developed for the UK Automotive Council, showing strong consensus about the technologies of the future. E4tech is pleased to have played a part in securing this cross-industry consensus and drawing out the key messages. In a newly-released report, UK Advanced Propulsion Centre has assembled the roadmaps, providing clear predictions to 2040 for specific technologies and the companies and researchers that will develop them.
As electrified vehicles become a mainstream choice for car makers in UK, it’s likely that their batteries will be produced locally, keeping supply chains short. Over half of the value of a battery is chemicals, presenting the UK chemicals industry with a growth opportunity worth £2.7 billion per year. An E4tech report, released today by UK Advanced Propulsion Centre, for the first time examines this opportunity and UK’s ability to seize it. Over 50 UK companies are currently supplying or have strong potential to serve the battery industry, with many supplying valuable active materials for anodes, cathodes and electrolytes.