West Midlands Gigafactory give a CGI preview of factory plans

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The UK is pushing to become a major player in the burgeoning electric battery market and will be insulated from external factors impacting the supply chain, Dave OudeNijeweme, the head of technology trends at the Advanced Propulsion Centre has claimed. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr OudeNijeweme said the Trade and Cooperation Agreement had created a local market for the UK, and indeed the EU.

By creating a joint local market, the import of batteries and raw materials will be discouraged in a blow to China.

He added: “The UK will maintain its market share of car manufacturing.

“The area to play for will be the raw materials needed for batteries.

“Brexit negotiations and the TCA have put us in one market for batteries.

“Both EU and UK agreed that more of these materials and batteries are made locally within our own market.

“So you can’t just import materials and batteries.

“Due to those rules, it’s driving localisation of those batteries and the key materials.”

Since Brexit, the UK has primed itself as a key place for battery production, as seen with Nissan’s new gigafactory.

UK start-up, British Volt has also announced the creation of an all-purpose gigafactory in Northumberland while another has been announced in the West Midlands.

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With these factories, it is hoped the UK will accelerate its pursuit of electrifying the economy.

China set 2025 as a goal to increase its electrical production as part of its ‘Made in China’ target, and although it is ahead of the UK, Mr OudeNijeweme claimed Britain will now be well insulated in the market.

He concluded: “It doesn’t matter as with the Brexit deal and the wish of the EU Commission and Gov to localise you can’t just import Chinese materials and batteries.

“There will be carbon taxes as well, so that’s another mechanism to protect us from Chinese materials.

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“So ultimately doesn’t matter as the local market will be Europe.

“So we need to be competitive with Europe.”

Also speaking to Express.co.uk, Ben Kilbey, chief communication officer for the organisation insisted the UK is primed to become a “powerhouse” in solid-state battery production – a more efficient and effective battery than conventional competitors.

He said: “Solid-state technology is in its infancy but it is the holy grail.

“The UK could become a global battery powerhouse in the industry.

Mr Kilbey added: “We aim to partner with academia to make sure the UK is at the vanguard of electrification.

“It’s very possible the UK will be at the forefront of the industry if we act now.

“UK plc has the opportunity to be at the forefront of electricity and technological advancement.

“It will put us in the middle of the global battery map.”

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