The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has opened an inquiry into the supply chain for battery electric vehicles and asked for evidence from stakeholders..
It says a supply chain focused on battery technology and the associated power electronics, machines and drives is necessary for the industry and if it is not established fast enough the UK could lose its place in building a green transport industry.
Committee chair, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said:“The government has pledged to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. But the road to meet this commitment could be rocky, with challenges in manufacturing capacity, a skilled workforce and extraction of critical components. We will be holding an evidence session in June to explore how the supply chain can be developed to support the transition to electric vehicles. We encourage anyone concerned about this issue to consider making a contribution.”
The committee says key issues include: government encouragement to battery manufacturers to site high-volume battery manufacturing ‘gigafactories’ in the UK; investment in training; and the ethical sourcing of materials used in battery manufacture. It suggests at least eight gigafactories will need to be operational by 2040 to meet anticipated demand for electric vehicles. The first UK gigafactory has been announced in Blyth, Northumberland.
The Committee is inviting written submissions by 5pm on 21May. Among its questions it wants to understand:
- What contribution battery electric vehicles could make to Net Zero
- UK supply chain opportunities around supply of batteries and power electronics, machines and drive supply chain clear?
- The UK’s natural advantages in development of battery manufacture?
- How to support UK gigafactories and ensure they have a zero carbon power supply
- What funding is needed and how it should be allocated
- How to source minerals for battery electric vehicles in a responsible way?
- What action can Government take to support growth of secondary markets to extend lifetime use of EV batteries?
- What steps should be taken to ensure that EV batteries are recycled at the end of their lives and not simply sent to landfill?
See the full terms of reference here