Japan issues dire warning to post-Brexit Britain
The Japanese government has issued a warning entitled ‘Japan’s message to the UK and the EU’ which details its requirements from Brexit negotiations.
Making the list public at the G20 Summit, Japanese officials warned of great turmoil and harm caused if single market privileges are lost due to Brexit’s effects. There are also dire consequences if requirements are not met.
Nigel Driffield, a Professor of International Business at Warwick Business School has been researching the effects of Brexit on foreign direct investment into Britain.
He commented: "It is unlikely that even if the post-Brexit world were not to the liking of Japanese investors, they would move over night. However, one should bear in mind that Japanese car firms invested some £260 million in the 4 years up to 2014 in the UK.
"Virtually all of this took the form of re-tooling or updating rather than new greenfield investment, and it is that which over time would drift away were the UK to divorce itself from the single market.
"At the same time, it is important to recognise that well-known Japanese firms in the UK are in locations with high unemployment, where the firms themselves are at the centre of wider networks and supply chains.
"Were those firms to relocate, or prioritise other production facilities elsewhere, then the number of jobs under threat greatly exceeds the number employed in just the inward investors themselves.
"Japanese investment in the UK has been significant since the 1980s, and while Japan only represents about three percent of the total FDI that comes into the UK, it is much higher in certain high profile sectors, such as automotive, and in sectors with very close trading links to the EU.
"This is not merely in terms of the EU as the final export market for Japanese cars made in the UK, but many supply chains in these sectors cross several EU national borders, meaning that free movement of components as well as finished goods is key to continued development for this sector.
"For Japanese firms continued investment in the UK needs such arrangements to be as smooth as possible."
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.