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New report tackles key issues for transport electrification  

WMG has provided battery expertise and knowledge for a new report examining the UK Chemical Supply Chain for Battery Manufacture.

The report was launched last night with over 40 senior figures from across the Chemical, Battery and Automotive sectors along with Government officials in attendance.

The report, produced by E4 Tech, provides an in-depth assessment of the current capability to support the growth of a UK Battery Manufacturing Industry.

Professor David GreenwoodDavid Greenwood, Professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems at WMG explained: “Automotive batteries will halve in cost, double in energy density and see tenfold increases in manufacturing volumes before the end of the next decade. To do this we need advanced materials supplied in bulk and at very high quality. High value opportunities exist in cathode powders, anode powders, electrolytes, collector foils and separators, and the supply chain to provide them is in its infancy.”

Key findings

It is no secret that the UK ambition of the UK Government is to stimulate the supply chain so that the UK can attract a ‘Giga-factory’. This report engaged with those members of the supply chain who would support new production capacity.

Currently three fifths of a vehicle battery pack’s value is chemicals and materials. The report has found that the UK could capture a £4.8bn/year share of this by 2030. This is down to the strong foundation of UK-based companies already embedded within many global battery supply chains.

Through strategic Government support and collaboration between our Automotive and Chemical sector there is a real opportunity to expand these existing capabilities growing capacity to serve UK-built batteries as well as significant growth in exports, especially as EU battery production grows.

For battery cell manufacturing to be economically viable there is a need for local suppliers of many materials. However, the expectation is that battery chemistry will evolve over the next decade, so it is fundamental that the companies involved within this supply chain are primed for innovation and manufacturing investment. An increase in capability and capacity offers further export potential.

The Government has already invested £246M through the Faraday Battery Challenge which has delivered valuable assets like there UKBIC and provided invaluable opportunities for the chemical, battery and automotive sector to work together and learn from one another. In order to realise this 4.8bn supply chain opportunity, the Government will continue to have a critical role to play in supporting the strategic investments in the UK battery and battery materials sectors, whilst also continuing to provide targeted funding for CR&D that allows the UK chemical sector to co-develop battery technologies with its customers.

The full report can be found here