The British government’s £100m-plus commitment to secure Nissan’s battery gigafactory for Sunderland has been like gadget-shopping on Amazon writ large: splurging on some new technology that has suddenly become essential – and then being immediately prompted to buy another six. This time, though, duplicating the spending looks more sensible. More gigafactories – or plain old big battery factories – are not essential for the UK to transition to using electric vehicles (EVs). But they certainly will be if Britain hopes to keep making, selling and exporting its own cars. While Britain is regarded as advanced in battery science and research, that is not the case in manufacturing. The only existing EV battery facility in the UK is already Nissan’s, supplying thousands of its bestselling Leafs. The £1bn investment announced last week, from the Japanese carmaker, its battery partner Envision and the taxpayer, heralds a first gigafactory, with almost five times the capacity and potentially much more.
Guardian 3rd July 2021 read more »
The bosses of BT and BP have formed a council to help ministers accelerate the shift towards electric vehicles by encouraging companies with big fleets to use green vans. Philip Jansen and Bernard Looney have formed the EV Fleets Accelerator. Other members include Ken Murphy of Tesco, Simon Thompson of Royal Mail, Liv Garfield of Severn Trent, Penny James of Direct Line and Keith Anderson of Scottish Power. The group, spun out of the prime minister’s Build Back Better Business Council in March, will advise No 10 on issues such as the availability of charging points and the need for better infrastructure. The news comes as the owner of Vauxhall prepares to announce plans to make electric vans at its Ellesmere Port factory in northwest England, which could save 1,000 jobs. Stellantis, formed through the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot owner PSA, is said to be poised to invest hundreds of millions of pounds. Last week, Japan’s Nissan announced a £1 billion plan to build a battery gigafactory and new model in Sunderland. Car-makers face a government-mandated cliff-edge, with sales of new petrol and diesel models set to be banned from 2030.
Times 4th July 2021 read more »
Leading investor Jim Mellon is bringing his lithium venture to the stock exchange in London as the battery metal booms. Bradda Head, which wants to produce lithium in Arizona and Nevada, is set to join the junior AIM this month valued at around £16m. Demand for lithium is expected to soar as countries start to phase out petrol and diesel cars in favour of battery-powered electric models.
Telegraph 3rd July 2021 read more »