As well as our scientific research programmes, the Faraday Institution provides independent, evidence-based understanding of battery economics, societal issues, capabilities and competitive position through commissioned studies and insights publications. These aim is to bridge knowledge gaps across industry, academia and government.
Our “Faraday Insights” are concise briefings that aim to help bridge knowledge gaps across industry, academia and government. Published every month the publications are prepared by authors from across the Faraday Institution network and coordinated by Stephen Gifford, Chief Economist.
If you would like to suggest a subject for a future Insight, please contact us.
A rapidly growing market for batteries across the globe has intensified pressures on suppliers of cobalt to meet surges in demand. This has impacted the livelihoods of miners – in particular, those working in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s artisanal and small-scale mines – in both beneficial and deleterious ways. International efforts by businesses, governments, and NGOs to secure a responsible supply chain for cobalt have the potential to protect lives and livelihoods while ensuring corrupt practices are held in check.
Lithium, Cobalt and Nickel: The Gold Rush of the 21st Century
Ending UK sales of new vehicles running on diesel and petrol by 2035 will massively increase the demand for lithium, cobalt and nickel used to manufacture electric vehicle batteries. Many countries around the world are embarking on a similar path to electrification. Even so, global markets for raw materials should be able to deliver the demand in the UK and elsewhere. But action is needed now to iron out likely bottlenecks in supply chains.
Solid-State Batteries: The Technology of the 2030s but the Research Challenge of the 2020s
The development of solid-state batteries that can be manufactured at a large scale is one of the most important challenges in the battery industry today. The ambition is to develop solid-state batteries, suitable for use in electric vehicles, which substantially surpass the performance, safety, and processing limitations of lithium-ion batteries. In contrast to research into lithium-ion batteries, which will provide incremental gains in performance toward theoretical limits, research into solid-state batteries is long-term and high-risk but also has the potential to be high-reward.
Electric Vehicle and Battery Safety Skills for Emergency Services, Vehicle Repair, and Auto Retailers
Fire, police, ambulance, and service personnel will need new skills to handle EV accidents and repair to ensure the safety of themselves and others. The number of those workers who need reskilling is substantial and resources are needed to support sector skills councils and providers for regional delivery of accredited courses.
Bringing Cheap, Clean and Reliable Energy to Developing Countries
Over 800 million people worldwide do not have access to electricity and, of those that do, many suffer from an unreliable supply. Diesel and petrol generators commonly used in developing countries bring problems of noise, air quality and climate impacts. Energy storage technologies including batteries have the potential to replace generators and provide cheap, clean and reliable electricity to millions of people.
The Faraday Institution and the Department for International Development (DfID) commissioned consultants Vivid Economics to perform a rapid market and technology assessment of storage in weak and off-grid contexts in developing countries, to which this Insight refers.
The Gigafactory Boom: the Demand for Battery Manufacturing in the UK
The transition to electric vehicles will substantially increase the demand for batteries. Across Europe, there is a race to develop battery manufacturing factories to meet this demand. The UK is well-positioned to be a major player in this market. By 2040, the Faraday Institution estimates that eight gigafactories will be needed in the UK and consequently employment in the automotive industry and battery supply chain could increase from 186,000 to 246,000 jobs.
The Road to Electrification – From the Internal Combustion Engine to the Battery Electric Vehicle
All around the world, markets are transitioning from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles (EVs). The UK is at the forefront of this push for the electrification of road transport. By 2030, the Faraday Institution expects that 64% of new cars bought in the UK will be EVs. Three-quarters of these will be battery EVs and one-quarter plug-in hybrids.
UK Electric Vehicle and Battery Production Potential to 2040
On March 12th 2020 the Faraday Institution published an update to its study “UK Electric Vehicle and Battery Production Potential to 2040”, first published in 2019.
The study answers the question, “What is the maximum opportunity for EV and battery cell production to be based in the UK by 2030 and 2040, and what actions need to be taken now, and by whom, to ensure that this opportunity is captured?”
The study finds that while there will be demand for seven UK-based gigafactories (large, high volume battery manufacturing facilities) by 2040, each producing 20 GWh per year of batteries, the UK is at risk of falling further behind Europe for battery manufacturing.
The Faraday Institution study forecasts that the overall industry workforce in the automotive and electric vehicle (EV) battery ecosystem could grow by 29% from 170,000 in 2020 to 220,000 employees by 2040.
This Faraday Report gives an overview of current battery technologies and markets for high energy applications. It is intended for use primarily by scientists and engineers in academia and industry as an introduction to current state of the art and an indication of what may be coming to the market over the next 5-10 years. For those not familiar with batteries for high energy applications, the report will inform early stages of product road-mapping and design. It also will provide readers with pointers of where to look for more detailed specification information. For those more familiar with the relevant battery technologies the report gives an introduction to the competitive landscape.
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