It’s currently the only battery producer in the United Kingdom, but this may no longer be the case if the Americans take the lead in the industry.
A recent warning was issued by Scotland’s AMTE Power about how the UK needs to stay in the lead when it comes to battery production for the electric vehicle (EV) sector in light of how the United States government has been offering large financial incentives to companies specializing in green technology.
Currently based in the town of Thurso, AMTE recently announced its plans to build a massive battery factory on the site of what used to be a Michelin tire manufacturing plant at Tayside in Dundee. The company also stated that, in the long run, the said facility would eventually become an EV battery gigafactory providing employment for hundreds of workers. However, the massive incentives being offered by the US is making it harder to justify keeping production within the UK.
For this reason, AMTE Power chief executive Alan Hollis called upon the UK and Scots governments to provide grants that will cover up to 20% of their total capital investment. Hollis also asked both governments to think of better incentives supporting operational costs in a bid to stay competitive with industrial counterparts in the US.
The AMTE CEO cited how the US Inflation Reduction Act has lured the likes of Volkswagen and other companies involved in highly competitive and capital-intensive production. This is mostly because the Act provides between 30 to 50% of the necessary funding with which to operate a gigafactory.
Hollis has also deplored how there currently isn’t a competitive environment when it comes to EV battery-making and other green enterprises in the UK. He reminded both governments that his firm is a homegrown British business that developed its own technologies. That said, he expressed a desire to commercialize the technology in-country and to continue manufacturing on home turf.
He went on to say that, unless the British government and domestic enterprise can bring about healthy competition in the battery manufacturing sector, it is almost a given that the British battery industry would come to an end – something that would be disastrous for the regional automotive industry as well as the energy storage sector.
AMTE’s recent demands follow in the wake of fellow battery maker Britishvolt’s collapse. The latter proposed the construction of its own gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland. Unfortunately, its executives were unable to raise the necessary funding for the initiative.