Electric Vehicles: UK Trade with EU

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 9th March 2021.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the need to support UK manufacturing capacity for vehicle batteries to avoid future tariffs on electric vehicles under the rules of the UK-EU free trade agreement.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for zero tariff zero quota trade, with modern rules of origin for the automotive sector that reflect UK manufacturing and are designed to support the industry through its transition to electrification. The phased approach to rules of origin for batteries gives industry time to localise supply chains for electrified vehicles.

The Government has prioritised securing investment in battery cell gigafactories, which is key for anchoring the mass manufacture of electric vehicles, safeguarding and creating high quality jobs across the UK, and driving emissions to net zero by 2050.

As part of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, nearly £500m of funding for the Automotive Transformation Fund will be made available in the next four years to build an internationally competitive electric vehicle supply chain. This is a UK-wide programme, and we are welcoming applications for support from businesses and investors across the country.

We continue to work closely with investors to progress plans for manufacturing the batteries that we will need for the next generation of electric vehicles here in the UK.

The Government is also investing £318m, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in the Faraday Battery Challenge, to put the UK at the global forefront of the design, development, manufacturing, and recycling of electric batteries.

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