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Formal meeting (oral evidence session): Role of batteries and fuel cells in achieving Net Zero

Science and Technology Committee (Lords)
Role of batteries and fuel cells in achieving Net Zero

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Start times: 10.00am (private) 10.00am (public)

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Can supply chains keep up with the dash to decarbonisation?

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will investigate UK supply chains for low-carbon vehicles, in the latest evidence sessions for its inquiry into batteries and fuel cells.

The Committee will hear from researchers about supply chains of critical materials for the manufacture of batteries, fuel cells and electric motors. Members will seek to understand these minerals’ availability in nature, constraints on trade, and the environmental and ethical impacts of extraction and processing.

The Committee will then question vehicle manufacturers about their supply chains, to understand the flows of components and the current scale of operations in the UK. Members will consider the level of expansion in supply chains and skills that would be needed if the UK is to achieve its decarbonisation aims for transport.

Across both sessions, the Committee will consider the potential to reduce imports and environmental impacts by using alternative materials, modifying technologies, and implementing large-scale recycling to support the supply chains.

Meeting details

At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Role of batteries and fuel cells in achieving Net Zero
Chair in Sustainable Energy Materials at Imperial College London
Head of Earth Sciences Department at Natural History Museum
Reader in Inorganic and Materials Chemistry at University of Birmingham, and Principal Investigator of RELIB project at The Faraday Institution
Senior Mineral Commodity Geologist at British Geological Survey
At 11.00am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Role of batteries and fuel cells in achieving Net Zero
Head of Electrical and Battery Systems at Williams Advanced Engineering
Senior Innovation and Technology Manager at Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
CEO at Wrightbus

Possible questions

  • How secure is the UK's access to key minerals for manufacturing batteries, fuel cells and electric motors?
  • Where in the world are the main sources of critical minerals, and who influences the supplies?
  • What are the environmental, safety and ethical impacts of extracting and processing these minerals, and what initiatives are in place to mitigate these impacts?
  • How large a role could recycling play in the future, and what changes in manufacturing would be needed?
  • What is the potential for UK supply chains to be scaled up further to support the level of vehicle manufacture needed to meet decarbonisation targets? What would that take, from industry and Government?
  • How can the UK ensure it has a supply of skilled workers to support the manufacture and maintenance of battery and fuel cell vehicles?

Further information


virtual meeting (webcast)