Jaguar Land Rover’s award- winning I-Pace electric car hit a roadblock last year that typified the challenges facing the automotive industry: the supply of batteries ran out. The component crisis, which forced JLR to halt manufacturing of its Tesla rival for a week, was not caused by problems at its British factories or suppliers. Production stopped at the I-Pace plant in Austria after South Korea’s LG Chem failed to fulfil its contract to supply batteries from its gigafactory in Poland.
The stoppage underlined the global scale of the electric battery race — a race in which Britain is a distinct laggard.
The I-Pace, the only model in JLR’s stable powered solely by electrons, is still a niche car. That will soon change, with car-makers starting