The British government needs to offer "some big incentives to battery cell manufacturers like Britishvolt to encourage them to build their batteries in the UK else they will just turn to Europe", claims the CEO of Warwick-based EVera Recruitment, which bills itself as Europe's first and only dedicated recruitment consultancy for the battery and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing sector.
The comment came after this week's announcement by prime minister Boris Johnson new cars powered by petrol and diesel will not be sold in the UK from 2030 but that some hybrids would still be allowed.
Steve Doyle said: "If the government doesn't invest in battery producing gigafactories, they will in Europe and our car industry could collapse."
"It's wonderful to say let's all switch to electric cars but we still haven't got the necessary manufacturing facilities for EV batteries here in the UK. It takes years to build gigafactories and to make the cells. It's not like PPE where you just put in a relatively simple production line and bang out paper masks in a few weeks."
He added: "These battery cells are incredibly highly engineered. Each car typically has 5,000-7,000 cells and only one needs to fail for the car to potentially fail. Just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, a battery pack will only charge as well as its weakest cell.
"When you build a battery production line it takes three to six months just to 'settle the line' which means to run it and tune it before anything coming off the end of the line is usable or reliable enough to put in a car. The ramp up of gigafactories in the UK needs to accelerate otherwise we'll end up with electric cars with no battery packs in 2030. Demand is already outstripping supply – and it's going to get a whole lot worse if we don't move fast."
He said: "The UK's battery value chain is estimated to be worth GBP12bn by 2025. In the last few years, there has been a steady increase in the move to electric vehicles and this is going to grow exponentially over the next couple of decades. With our historic experience and strength in manufacturing, there is a huge opportunity here for the UK to build back better post COVID-19 with the EV industry and ensure it takes a leading position in what will be a global industry.
"Over the next 20 years, we estimate the EV industry could create around half a million jobs in the UK alone, including roles that no-one's ever seen in the UK before. That's why the government has do something on a major scale and quickly to ensure we maximise the EV market opportunity going forward."
EVera was announced earlier this month as Britishvolt's sole recruitment partner for this purpose.
Britishvolt is aiming to have the country's first battery gigafactory ready for production by 2023, making sure the UK is at the epicentre of global battery technology.