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How can we scale up UK battery and fuel cell development?

Monday 22 March 2021

The move to electrifying automotive vehicles continues to push forward the research and development of batteries. However, the Lords Science and Technology Committee have heard in recent evidence that much more scaling up is needed to reach net-zero targets.

In tomorrow’s evidence session, the committee will quiz officials, research funders and leading research consortia about the UK’s strategy for R&D. They will explore what aspects of battery and fuel cell research and development the UK is focusing on and whether its current abilities are enough.

It can be followed live on Parliament TV from 10am tomorrow (Tuesday 23 March 2021).

The session will inform the committees wider inquiry on the crucial role of batteries and fuel cells in helping achieve net-zero emissions.

Witnesses

10am

  • Tony Harper, Industrial Strategy Challenge Director, Faraday Battery Challenge at UKRI, Innovate UK
  • Dr Lucy Martin, Deputy Director of Cross-Council Programmes and lead for Net Zero, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Dr Bob Moran, Deputy Director, Head of Environment Strategy, Department for Transport
  • Professor Paul Monks, Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

11am

  • Professor Philip Taylor, Director at EPSRC Supergen Energy Networks Hub, and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at University of Bristol
  • Professor David Greenwood, CEO, High Value Manufacturing Catapult at Warwick Manufacturing Group, Director, Industrial Engagement at Warwick Manufacturing Group, and Professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems at University of Warwick
  • Professor Paul Dodds, Professor of Energy Systems at University College London

Possible questions

  • On which aspects of battery and fuel cell research and development is the UK focusing, and why?
  • To what extent did the UK have battery research and manufacturing capability before the move to electric cars and how much scaling up has been required?
  • How successful have R&D models been in advancing battery science and application?
  • Does battery research receive greater public funding than fuel cell research? If so, why?
  • What technologies are seen as the most likely options for HGVs, buses and trains?
  • What is the Government’s strategy for supporting the growth of skilled workers for battery and fuel cell research and development?
  • To what extent is battery and fuel cell research and development coordinated in the UK? If so, who is responsible for this coordination?

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