Could Thurso Become A Producer Of Electric Car Batteries - Some Think So
5th August 2020
SMMT reveals sales of electric vehicles storming ahead whilst manufacturing capacity lags behind.
According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) today, new car registrations in the UK rose for the first time this year, increasing by 11.3 per cent year-on-year in July.
This comes in the wake of lockdown restrictions and closed car dealerships, causing months of stagnant sales, yet the demand for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) continues to accelerate - with sales surging 259.4 per cent against last year. BEVs are now becoming the vehicle of choice for an increasing number of drivers as government incentives, more attractive price points, and improved battery range work in their favour.
Whilst this shows promise for the automotive industry, the EU continues to lag behind in electric lithium-ion battery production, representing less than 3 per cent of global manufacturing capacity. With lithium-ion battery demand projected to increase ten-fold by 2029, the over-reliance on a few large-scale manufacturers overseas creates both risk and uncertainty for the sector.
Kevin Brundish, CEO and Founder of AMTE Power, comments: "Despite challenging market conditions, the drive towards electrification is continuing to gather pace and is projected to accelerate in the years ahead. A shift in consumer sentiment during COVID-19 is fuelling the shift from combustion vehicles, this transition, however, is met by limited battery supply within the UK manufacturing supply chain industry."
Kevin concludes: “By 2040, over half of new passenger cars sold will be electric, with China and other European markets achieving much higher adoption rates. The UK needs to become less dependent on battery cells imports, from the Far East, and the government needs to tailor its green agenda by continuing to invest in the creation of on-shore full-cycle battery plants. This support for UK Manufacturing is in line with the plans set out by the Prime Minister in the strategy to rebuild Britain and fuel economic recovery across the UK.”
AMTE Power is exploring the creation of the UK's first large-scale 1GWh battery factory, in the move towards boosting the country’s car industry. The company currently operates a facility in Thurso, Northern Scotland, developing next-generation batteries for specialist markets.