Battery gigafactories: Inside Tesla's high volume battery plant
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Britain is battling to match China's strength in battery manufacturing, which currently pumps out car batteries for Tesla, the world's leading electric vehicle company valued at $1trillion (£750billion). Tesla's factory in Shanghai now produces more cars than the Tesla plant in California, and many of the batteries that drive Tesla cars are Chinese-made. And the minerals that power the batteries are also mainly refined and mined by Chinese companies too.
Meanwhile in Britain, Britishvolt, a start-up battery manufacturer, has recently submitted plans for a £2.6billion Gigafactory in Northumberland – on the site of the former Blyth Power Station.
Britishvolt said it will produce 300,000 lithium-ion battery packs each year, which will be used to supply the UK automotive industry.
It is now reportedly in talks with some of the world's largest car manufacturers.
This comes as the sector has seen a move towards vertical integration.
Vertical integration refers to the process of one company controlling a number of steps along a supply chain, including guaranteeing supply and improving transparency in some cases.
China and UK are facing off in a battery arms race (Image: Getty )
A Chinese lithium battery factory (Image: Getty )
But, as companies battle for the top spot, it seems as though China is in the best position in what The Guardian have called the "battery arms race".
China has the largest market for EVs in the world, with total sales of around 1.3million vehicles last year.
This was more than 40 percent of sales worldwide.
And the Chinese battery-maker CATL controls around 30 percent of the whole world's EV market.
Cobalt (a mineral that improves the stability of lithium-ion batteries) specialist suppliers Darton Commodities has estimated Chinese refineries supplied around 85 percent of the world's battery-ready cobalt.
But some car and battery manufacturers are starting to reduce the amount of cobalt in their batteries.
A Tesla vehicle (Image: Getty )
And, in good news for Britain, efforts are being made to push back against China's dominance in the battery market.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) , where Chinese companies are mining for cobalt, has recently announced a review of some of the largest mining contracts, including the $6.2billion (£4.5billion) deal which gave the Chinese consortium majority control over Sicomines, a mining company in the DRC, back in 2007.
The country's president, Félix Tshisekedi, said: "People come to Congo empty handed and when they leave they are billionaires, but we remain poor."
Now, British companies are hoping to take advantage as they enter into the battery arms race.
The Prime Minister signalled “a major vote of confidence” in post-Brexit Britain when plans for an electric vehicle hub to be set up in Sunderland by 2024, including £1 billion in investment from Nissan and battery-maker Envision, were announced.
DON’T MISS Solar storm warning as Met Office 'expects radio and GPS issues' [REVEAL] CIA warns Russia of ‘consequences’ over mystery illness [REPORT] Solar storm warning: Sun ejects 50,000 mile-long ‘canyon of plasma’ [INSIGHT]
Boris Johnson (Image: Getty )
Xi Jinping (Image: Getty )
But China even has a hand in this – as Envision is a Chinese company and will run the battery plant.
And while the Government has stressed a desire to bolster up its elective vehicle industry, experts have suggested the UK lags behind.
Andy Leyland, head of strategic advisory at consultancy Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said: "The UK Government focused a lot on encouraging research, and building a battery testing hub. When it comes to the big commercialised actions, we're quite a bit behind continental Europe, and very far behind Asia."
- The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space
- US Intelligence Warns Against Dangers In Space Because Of Russia And China
- China is about to launch a mission to explore the far side of the moon
- For now, at least, the world isn’t making enough batteries
- VW Will Make Its Own Batteries to Power an Electric Future
- Tens of billions of pounds could be added to the UK's £39 billion Brexit divorce bill
- Huawei announces Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro with big batteries and triple rear cameras, starting at €799
- US Sanctions China For Buying Russian Fighter Jets, Missiles
- UK austerity has inflicted 'great misery' on citizens, UN says
- High Tech Cowboys of the Deep Seas: The Race to Save the
- Future electric cars: Upcoming battery-powered cars that will be on the roads within the next 5 years
- Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google
- Pinewood inks China joint-venture
- Future electric cars: The battery-powered cars that will be on the roads within the next 5 years
- Full transcript: "Face the Nation" on September 23, 2018
- With Northam Scandal Shredding Virginia Democrats, GOP Sees Old Dominion Opportunity in State Once Thought Lost
- Sources reveal what Jeff Bezos plans to charge for space rides
- Can the UK film industry meet the diversity challenge?
- Night Sky, January 2019: What You Can See This Month [Maps]
- IMAX plans for film production, VR and China
UK-China face off: Plan for £2.6bn northern Gigafactory sees 'battery arms race' explode have 959 words, post on www.express.co.uk at November 26, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.