UK risks energy tech exodus without more funding, battery boss warns – msnNOW

The new factory in Blyth was set to produce lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles. © Provided by City AM The new factory in Blyth was set to produce lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles.
The UK risks an exodus of energy technology developers to rival markets unless it provides more funding, the boss of a British battery cell specialist has warned.
Alan Hollis, chief executive of AMTE Power, told City A.M. that the UK government has to support and invest in technologies, such as batteries for electric vehicles, if it wants to maintain its leading role in the net zero race.
“It’s a very costly and time-consuming process to develop. technology and then bring it to market,” Hollis said.
“I would like to see more government support to the industry as a whole, to see how it can help accelerate the time to market for ourselves and others… so that we can establish the UK as a technology leading, advanced manufacturing country,” he added.
Companies have been pushing the UK to boost funding for the sector as the US Inflation Reduction Act and Biden’s $391bn clean energy package offer a raft of healthy subsidies and tax incentives, while the EU has also vowed to soften state subsidy limits.
“This is what AMTE Power is having to compete against in the world today,” Hollis said.
“We are driving the development cycle for products that we are bringing to market to support the UK automotive industry without the levels of funding and support that perhaps other companies in other countries are currently getting,” he explained.
He hinted that the London-listed firm, which manufactures lithium ion and sodium ion battery cells typically used in EVs, could look to other markets for future projects instead of the UK if more support wasn’t provided.
“There are lots of markets that would like to attract our attention,” he said, although its “preference is to stay here in the UK.”
His comments come after the Financial Times reported that Volkswagen is putting a planned battery plant in eastern Europe on hold and prioritising a rival facility in North America after estimating it could receive up to €10bn in US incentives.
Clean energy storage specialist Zenobe Energy told City A.M. previously that it was going to “accelerate what we’re doing in America because of the tax credits.”
The government has been approached for comment.
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Hollis made the remarks after the firm released its half-year results today, posting revenues of £550,000 in the six months up to December last year, with losses before tax of £3.72m.
Hollis was optimistic, however, that the company had a strong pathway to profit once its projects entered commercial markets.
He said: “AMTE Power is one of the few manufacturers of battery cells in the UK today and has three products in development that are close to commercialisation with samples already in the hands of customers for testing from whom we are receiving positive feedback.
“This strong foundation underpins our growth plans and, combined with the renewed vision and the team’s energy, means we look forward with confidence and focus to the year ahead.”
Shares in the company were down 1.47 per cent following the results in this afternoon’s trading.
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