Inquiry to focus on battery electric vehicles supply chain

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A call of evidence has been launched to examine the supply chain for battery electric vehicles.

According to the Environmental Audit Committee, a supply chain focused on battery technology and the associated power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) will be required for UK’s shift to electric vehicles to be successful, while a delay in growing this supply chain, or a failure to establish it, could undermine any advantage the UK has in this field.

Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Philip Dunne MP, commented: “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.”

This would be reflected in fewer green jobs, reduced profits and increased carbon emissions, potentially jeopardising the Government’s net zero ambition.

Key issues to be addressed in establishing a supply chain include Government encouragement to battery manufacturers to site high-volume battery manufacturing plants (‘gigafactories’) in the UK, investment in training and the ethical sourcing of materials used in battery manufacture.

According to the Committee, at least eight gigafactories will need to be operational by 2040 to meet anticipated demand for electric vehicles resulting from the Government’s plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

The Committee is inviting written submissions to inform its forthcoming evidence session by 5pm on Friday 21st May. The topics include:

  • What contribution could battery electric vehicles make to achieving net zero by 2050?
  • How well is Government policy aligned with high-level commitment for growth of battery electric vehicles to support its net zero ambition?
  • Are the UK supply chain opportunities around supply of batteries and power electronics, machines and drive supply chain clear?

More information about the call for evidence is available on the UK Parliament website.