Batteries: Sustainable Development

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 9th June 2020.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the sustainability of sourcing rare earths for battery technology.

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Government is aware of the socioeconomic, environmental and supply concerns surrounding the mining of raw materials for electric vehicle (EV) batteries and is taking steps to address these.

The Government has committed £274m into the Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC) to support the research, development and scale-up of world-leading battery technology in the UK.

This include research to make better use of global resources and support a more circular economy; for example, by reducing the amount of critical raw materials, such as cobalt, that are used in EV batteries, and localising more of the battery supply chain to the UK. The Faraday Institution’s £10m ‘ReLiB’ (Reuse and Recycling of Lithium-ion Batteries) research project is developing the technological, economic and legal infrastructure to allow close to 100% of the materials in lithium-ion batteries to be reused or recycled at the end of their first life. Through the Faraday Institution, the UK participates in the Global Battery Alliance: a World Economic Forum initiative seeking to accelerate action towards a socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and innovative battery value chain.

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