UK offers lifeline to electric cars with £1bn new gigafactory., Electric Vehicle News Bitesize
UK offers lifeline to electric cars with £1bn new gigafactory., Electric Vehicle News Bitesize

UK offers lifeline to electric cars with £1bn new gigafactory. Written by Daniel Fearns and read to you by Cassidy, subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE!

The UK electric car industry has received some much-needed good news as a major battery maker revealed its plans to build a £1bn gigafactory in the UK. As the UK moves away from petrol and diesel cars, large-scale electric vehicle battery manufacturing plants, also known as gigafactories, will be crucial to boosting the UK’s electric car industry, especially as the government plans to phase out sales of fossil fuel vehicles by 2035. US battery maker Nanotech Energy has announced it is studying seven sites in the UK as finalists for a potential £1bn new gigafactory, a move that could help speed up the rollout.

The company said it will make the final site selection decision based on a combination of technical considerations and strategic alignment with original equipment manufacturer partners.

In a statement, they said that the UK could soon “become a second home for the production of Nanotech Energy’s patented, high-performing, non-flammable graphene-powered lithium-ion batteries”.

The battery company is currently building a 517-acre manufacturing facility in Nevada, USA, with the first building scheduled to open in the fourth quarter (February-April) of 2022 and full battery production expected to begin in 2024.

They also offer much faster charging and greater storage capacity than conventional batteries, and entering a new phase of production at their proposed £1bn Gigafactory will significantly accelerate progress in the UK electric car industry.

Nanotech added that the batteries they make have the ability to “revolutionize” the performance of electric vehicles, consumer electronics, marine equipment, power walls, energy storage and military hardware.

Mauran Kumar, Director of Marketing at Nanotech Energy, said: “The UK needs to significantly grow its battery production capacity to meet the huge forecast demand, and Nanotech Energy is well positioned to help address that demand with the safest chemistry in the battery market.”

They added that their batteries are safer and higher performing than traditional lithium-ion batteries and battery packs, featuring a “competitive energy density and cycle life”, meaning they will last for longer.

They also claimed that their batteries are superior to traditional lithium-ion and emerging solid-state batteries, as they can operate between -40C and +60C.

They said: “By using electrodes based on graphene, and then enhancing them with a proprietary non-flammable electrolyte, Nanotech Energy’s batteries provide the ultimate solution in safety and performance.”

The announcement comes after Britishvolt, which is building the UK’s first gigafactory in Blyth, went into administration earlier this week – with many made redundant.

The company was in the best position to build a £3.8bn factory to produce electric vehicle batteries, which will give a huge boost to Electric Vehicle adoption.

Former Conservative leader William Hague claimed Brexit was partly to blame for Britishvolt’s collapse, adding that “part of the damage” was caused by Britain’s exit from the European Union.

He told the News Agents podcast: “That is very concerning and it’s a sad reflection probably on Brexit. Because what do you need in some of these technologies? You need scale.

“You need to know there’s a big market. If you’re going to succeed with batteries, you’re going to need big manufacturers to be in the same market using those batteries. So that’s part of the damage that’s been done by leaving the European Union.”

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk had previously expressed interest in building a Gigafactory in the UK, but he chose Germany over the UK due to Brexit uncertainty.

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UK offers lifeline to electric cars with £1bn new gigafactory., Electric Vehicle News Bitesize
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