Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you a link to reset your password.


  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you a link to reset password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Electric Power | Metals

UK EV industry faces a 'bleak future' without gigaplants: Cornish Lithium CEO

Commodities | Energy | Electric Power | Renewables | Natural Gas

Hydrogen: Beyond the Hype

Electric Power

Platts Market Data – Electric Power

Electric Power | Renewables | LNG | Infrastructure Utilities

Caribbean Energy Conference, 21st

Bunker Fuel | Oil | Refined Products | Fuel Oil | Gasoline | Shipping | Marine Fuels

Security incident occurs on oil tanker off UK: sources

UK EV industry faces a 'bleak future' without gigaplants: Cornish Lithium CEO

Highlights

EV supply chain needs to be sustainable

Geothermal lithium production offer lowest carbon footprint

Cornwall would benefit from own battery cell factory

New York — The UK government needs to "step up" and give a boost to the UK's electric vehicle gigaplant ambitions, otherwise the country faces a "bleak" EV manufacturing future, was the view of Cornish Lithium CEO and founder Jeremy Wrathall Sept. 17.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Fielding questions on a conference call the CEO told S&P Global Platts that, although his own project's success wasn't dependent on the construction of a UK gigaplant, it is an important pillar for future growth of UK PLC.

Cornish Lithium said in a statement Sept. 17 that initial results of preliminary sampling showed "some of the world's highest grades of lithium and best overall chemical qualities encountered in published records for geothermal waters anywhere in the world."

The initial assay results show lithium concentrations of up to 260 milligrams a liter, which are believed to be among the highest published grades of lithium in geothermal waters globally.

Based in the southwest of the UK, Cornish Lithium aims to be a low carbon lithium producer, a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries, by pumping naturally occurring geothermal waters and filtering the chemicals out.

"Geothermal waters which contain lithium are very different from other occurrences of lithium in brine given that the same water can be used to generate zero-carbon electrical power and heat. As such these waters are rapidly becoming recognized as the ultimate ethical source of lithium," the statement said.

Low-carbon lithium extraction from geothermal waters could make Cornish Lithium a very compelling story for automotive manufactures seeking low carbon supply chains of battery metals.

As the world pushes for a sustainable future, the need for renewable energy and low carbon production methods are being thrust to the top of investors' agendas. Also, as the globe grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, local supply chains are also a hot topic.

One of the hardest hit industries has been the UK auto sector, also facing the possibility of a no deal Brexit.

Local supply chains essential

Wrathall, said the UK doesn't want to lose anymore auto-related jobs. On the subject of local supply chains, he said that it would be a good move to have a battery cell factory in Cornwall, to help process the developer's lithium.

"The UK faces a bleak future without gigafactories," he told Platts during the conference call.

He said that the government needs to step up even in these "very challenging times." So far his company has received part funding from the UK government, however there are industry concerns that not enough is being done to secure manufacturing in the UK.

One possibility for the UK to build out its EV manufacturing ambitions would be for foreign companies to invest in the sector, according to the Confederation of British Industry's head of energy and climate change James Diggle.

In conversation with S&P Global Platts on Sept. 16 Diggle said that there is a big question around domestic manufacturing, exacerbated by the pending Brexit process.

The auto industry, already struggling, has been further dented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and related economic fallout. Diggle said the UK has a "strong" pedigree in high-end auto manufacturing.

UK autos tackle headwinds

"This is a difficult time for the sector, [it's] facing some significant headwinds," he added.

There are two new gigaplants in the pipeline for the UK, one from start-up manufacturer Britishvolt and another from AMTE Power.

One source said that he has concerns around the government's approach to funding such initiatives.

"I am worried that continental Europe is getting ahead of us, as governments there have frameworks to give huge cash injections to projects. The UK could get left behind, and that's not good for anyone. Especially the UK auto industry," the source said.

Europe, and particularly the UK, need to secure an EV battery supply chain to maintain a competitive edge in the sector, according to Britishvolt founder Orral Nadjari in a recent conversation with Platts.

Nadjari said that the coronavirus pandemic had created an opportunity for Britishvolt, as it highlighted the need for local supply chains.