British manufacturers and those in other parts of Europe want to move more of the supply chain for batteries used in electric cars and renewable energy away from China and closer to their plants, a survey showed on Tuesday (Jul 12).
China dominates the processing of the minerals used in electric batteries, as well as making the cells and related components, with Japan and South Korea in a distant second and third place.
But manufacturers in a survey of 200 European firms conducted by industrial prototyping company Protolabs said they had grown more concerned about supply chain disruption over the past year and wanted to use suppliers closer to home.
Japanese carmaker Nissan announced on Jul 1 that it would invest £1 billion (US$1.4 billion) with a Chinese partner Envision AESC to produce batteries near its main European plant in Sunderland, northeast England.
Some 80 per cent of firms said they wanted to move their supply chain for batteries closer to production, rising to 84 per cent of British firms which were seeking to make changes within the next 12 months.
“With just 6 per cent of battery manufacturing taking place in Europe, we are still heavily reliant on battery cell imports and, with demand for electric vehicles increasing rapidly, there is an understanding this has to change,” said Bjoern Klaas, managing director of Protolabs Europe.
Britain’s government has said it will ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2030. The battery is usually the most expensive part in the electric cars that will replace them.