The SMMT has joined a government taskforce to help develop the UK’s first battery strategy for electric vehicles.
The UK Battery Strategy Taskforce – established by the Department for Business and Trade – held its first meeting yesterday, bringing together industry experts and academics from across the battery ecosystem.
SMMT CEO Mike Hawes is part of the 17-strong panel that also includes automotive industry expert David Bailey, who is professor of business economics at Birmingham University’s Birmingham Business School.
The strategy aims to formulate ‘a joined-up government-industry approach to deliver a battery ecosystem that unleashes economic prosperity, delivers on our net zero ambitions and ensures our access to technologies and applications that are vital to our security’.
It should be published in the coming months.
In July, Hawes said that making batteries in the UK was ‘essential’ for long-term EV production here.
Commenting on the £4bn JLR and Tata Motors gigafactory announcement, he said: ‘This is a shot in the arm for the UK automotive industry, our economy and British manufacturing jobs, demonstrating the country is open for business and electric vehicle production.
‘It comes at a critical moment, with the global industry transitioning at pace to electrification.
‘Producing batteries in the UK is essential if we are to anchor wider vehicle production here for the long term.
‘We must now build on this announcement by promoting the UK’s strengths overseas, ensuring we stay competitive amid fierce global pressures and do more to scale up our EV supply chain.’
Pictured at top is a model of the battery factory that Tata plans to build in the UK. Picture: Christopher Furlong/PA Wire/PA Images