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26 JULY 2021


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Article from BTNews 26 JULY 2021

Batteries. Going flat?

Tomorrow (Tuesday 27 July) will see the UK House of Lords Science and Technology Committee publish a report on its views regarding the UK’s ambition to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The review will  conclude that actions taken by the Government do not align with its ambition to achieve net zero emissions, nor do they take advantage of opportunities presented by batteries and fuel cells for the UK’s research and manufacturing sectors. A full report will appear next week.
The 14-strong Committee is headed by Lord Patel, a Tanzanian-British obstetrician and Crossbench peer, and a former Chancellor of the University of Dundee.

Other members include a predominance of the medical profession from all three parties and also Baroness Manningham-Buller, the retired Director General of MI5, another Crossbencher.

The enquiry set itself some interesting questions.

  • Whether the UK’s automotive sector can survive the transition to electric vehicles in the face of tight domestic deadlines and strong international competition for resources, skills and finance.
  • The need for Government to support access to critical raw materials for battery manufacture and finance for gigafactories, ahead of the 2027 implementation of UK-EU ‘Rules of Origin’ for vehicle manufacturing.
  • The impact of the UK’s chronic engineering skills shortage on the sector’s ability to switch to electric vehicles.
  • Potential competitive advantages for the UK if it increases funding for research and development of fuel cells and next-generation batteries.
  • Future improvements in batteries and fuel cells for transport and energy grids so that they better meet users’ expectations in terms of performance, cost and safety.

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