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Can batteries charge the UK towards net-zero emissions?

Monday 8 March 2021

Tomorrow the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will quiz experts on the role of batteries and fuel cells in achieving net-zero, with a focus on electric vehicles.

Tomorrow’s evidence session will be the first of the committee’s new decarbonisation inquiry, which was launched last week and is currently accepting written evidence submissions.

The session will give an overview of battery and fuel cell technologies and their applications in transport and other sectors, and will ask how the manufacture of these can be scaled up to meet electrification demands and what challenges there are to enabling the wide-scale development of electric vehicles.

It can be followed live at Parliamentlive TV from 10am tomorrow (Tuesday 9 February 2021).

Witnesses

  • Professor Nigel Brandon, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London
  • Mr Amer Gaffar, Director of Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Professor Mauro Pasta, Associate Professor of Materials at University of Oxford
  • Professor Pam Thomas, CEO at Faraday Institution, and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at University of Warwick

Possible questions

  • What contribution are battery and fuel cell technologies currently making towards decarbonization in the UK?
  • What advances do we expect to see in battery and fuel cell technologies, and over what timeframes?
  • How quickly can UK battery and fuel cell manufacture be scaled up to meet electrification demands?
  • What is the status of battery and fuel cell research and development in the UK?
  • What are the main challenges to overcome in battery technology to enable widescale deployment of electric vehicles?
  • What could be the role for fuel cells in powering surface transport, including heavy goods vehicles and trains? What are the challenges facing technological innovation and deployment in heavy transport?
  • Are there any sectors where battery and fuel cell technologies are not currently used but could contribute to decarbonisation?
  • What are the life cycle environmental impacts of batteries and fuel cells? How does this compare with conventional energy sources?

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