1. Importing heavy batteries in the quantities required is expensive
Despite significant investment in battery-technology research (to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds), within the UK there is currently only minimal battery production, and this is dedicated almost exclusively to partner manufacturers.
An example of one such relationship being Nissan’s Sunderland plant (home to an all-new, all-electric crossover vehicle to replace the LEAF) which is served by the nearby Envision AESC plant, part of a £1.4 billion joint investment between AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, part owned by Nissan) and the Chinese battery producer Envision.
While there are several proposed Gigafactory’s ‘in the works’ (Envision, BritishVolt, West Midlands, Hyperbat, Tesla) none of these will be producing at volume until 2025 at the earliest, and some (e.g., Tesla) may not happen at all.
This means that for the time being, with the exception of Nissan, manufacturers who wish to develop new EVs before 2025 will have little choice but to import batteries.