UK is committed to making electric vehicle batteries, Hunt says

·1-min read
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt walks at Downing Street in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will ensure that batteries needed to power electric vehicles (EVs) are produced domestically, finance minister Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday, a day after carmakers warned insufficient production could hurt investment in the country.

"We are absolutely committed to making sure the UK is able to source onshore EV batteries that we need," Hunt said in a presentation to manufacturers on Thursday.

Stellantis, the world's third-largest carmaker by sales, said on Wednesday that under Britain's post-Brexit deal with the European Union it would face tariffs when exporting electric vans to the bloc from next year.

Under the deal, 45% of the value of an EV sold in the EU must come from Britain or the EU from 2024 to avoid tariffs. A battery pack can account for up to half a new EV's cost.

Stellantis called for a delay in the introduction of the new tariffs, a proposal echoed by Ford.

On Wednesday, Hunt urged the industry to "watch this space" on the issue of British battery production.

(Reporting by William Schomberg; Editing by Alistair Smout and David Milliken)