Automotive News – December 2023

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The University of Warwick has been awarded millions of pounds to boost British production of crucial materials for EV battery production.

The £12m in funding has been awarded by the Faraday Battery Challenge to the High Value Manufacturing Catapult at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and CPI at NETPark (North East Technology Park), in County Durham.

It will be used to create the new Advanced Materials Battery Industrialisation Centre (AMBIC). The centre will bridge the gap between academic research and battery production and will focus on how batteries can be made to work more efficiently, as well as on equipment and skills development.

The centre is needed to help the UK develop the electric vehicle batteries of the future, with reduced costs, more sustainable materials and improved performance. Electric vehicle batteries make up around half the cost of a new electric vehicle, so reducing the cost of their production is crucial to lowering the cost of EVs to parity with combustion engine vehicles. The funds are part of a wider investment strategy by the Faraday Battery Challenge and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to ramp up Britain’s battery production and infrastructure to boost the UK’s domestic battery supply chain

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British car and commercial vehicle manufacturing both saw production growth in October, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Car production output surged 31.6% in October and commercial vehicle (CV) production returned to growth in October following a decline in September, rising 47.1% year-on-year.

Car makers saw the eighth month of growth this year with 91,512 units leaving factory gates, marking the best October performance since 2019. The news follows recent announcements of significant investment into advanced automotive manufacturing, with some £4bn committed by government and industry combined in November alone, a massive vote of confidence in the sector.

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Tariffs on electric vehicles traded between the UK and EU will be delayed for three years, the European Commission has proposed.

It comes after carmakers on both sides of the Channel warned they were not ready for the change to post-Brexit trade rules planned from January.

The rules were meant to protect the EU car industry, but the 10% tariffs were likely to lead to huge costs.

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