The APC’s forecast: UK set to reach one million electric vehicle milestone

18 June 2024

Battery electric vehicle (BEV) production in the UK is expected to top one million between 2030 and 2035, creating a demand for over 100 GWh of automotive batteries, providing the UK supply chain with a tantalising opportunity for growth and attracting further original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to supercharge momentum.

That’s as detailed in the Q1 2024 Quarterly Demand Report from the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC). The report also outlines the next steps needed for the industry to maintain the growth trend, including:

  • For the UK automotive industry to continue to grow, new models or new OEMs need to be attracted to the UK.
  • Value in today’s liquid electrolyte is relatively low, but semi-solid and solid-state electrolytes are a key investment consideration.
  • Separators are relatively low value and quick to establish production. However, capacity in Europe is low and looks likely to remain low. There are significant opportunities to localise in UK.

“The UK is ahead of many countries, with fully zero-emission vehicles expected to account for 95% or more of production. That’s a total of one million electric vehicles by 2035. Consequently, those vehicles are likely to need more than 100 GWh of batteries, which presents interesting options for the battery supply chain in the UK.

In Europe, the demand for automotive batteries is forecast to exceed 1 TWh by 2035, accounting for 20% of global demand. Much like the situation in the UK, the growth in BEV production is expected to come largely from a change in vehicle split rather than an increase in production totals,”

explained Dr Hadi Moztarzadeh, Head of Technology Trends, APC.

New models are expected to be introduced by major manufacturers before the end of the decade, bringing total production to approx. 1.2 million.

While this achievement is notable, to push beyond this milestone, the UK will need to attract either new OEMs or new production models to its shores.

Dr Chris Jones, Strategic Trends Manager at the APC added,

“While new models are expected to be introduced by major manufacturers in the UK, to get back to pre-pandemic production volumes we will need to see significant new investment, and the UK will need to attract more new models from existing OEMs and new OEMs.”

On a global scale, automotive battery demand is forecast to exceed 5 TWh by 2035, with BEVs expected to account for half of global vehicle production by the same date.

You can read the report in full.