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The UK economy is set to receive a major boost thanks to Cornish Lithium, a British eco-technology company that’s focused on mineral exploration and development of lithium. Lithium is a vital element that is used in the production of electric vehicles, and there is said to be an abundance of it in southwest England.
Jeremy Wrathall, the CEO of Cornish Lithium, believes that, with a massive incentive like lithium being produced in the UK, major electric car manufacturers like Tesla could make their way over.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “I think that anything’s possible. If we’ve got the battery raw material, which are sustainable and environmentally friendly, why wouldn’t other car manufacturers come to the UK?
“Whether it Tesla, or Korean car companies, or anyone, why wouldn’t they come to the UK if they can guarantee that the minerals are in the UK and they are sustainable?
“I think that the Government recognises that if you build the battery materials infrastructure and raw materials supply chain, the battery manufactures and automakers will come to the UK.”
In 2019, Elon Musk snubbed Britain by striking a deal with Germany to build Europe’s first Tesla gigafactory.
Mr Musk blamed uncertainties over Brexit as the reason for picking Berlin over Britain, saying that Brexit made it “too risky” to set up its European gigafactory in the UK.
Mr Wrathall believes that without UK-based lithium, the country would be entirely reliant on imports, and dependent on China, which controls massive portions of the electric batteries market.
He said: “Given that China controls roughly 80 percent of the battery chemicals market, we would be dependent on imports from China or elsewhere.
“Therefore it is very difficult for the automotive industry to flourish under that scenario.
“Lithium is going to make a huge difference to our economy.
“We are pioneering the development of extracting lithium from the rocks in Cornwall.”
Last week, BritishVolt, a promising new startup, received £2.5billion in investment to produce its electric vehicle batteries in Northumberland.
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It also received hundreds of millions from the Government, in a major boost to the UK’s bid to develop a domestic supply chain.
Mr Wrathall believes that this is the boost that the UK need to manufacture electric vehicles.
He said: “Yes we absolutely can [become a top EV exporter].
“That’s why we’re seeing the UK government get behind BritishVolt, because we want to be able to export electric cars.”
Mr Wrathall believes that the Lithium they extract can be used to build electric batteries at Britishvolt, and at other gigafactories.
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