How will batteries change our world?

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Thursday 13 June

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Diego Vitali


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

How will widespread adoption of battery transport affect the built environment? How will the automotive and transport sectors have to change? Will models of ownership of vehicles have to change? Will we lease batteries? Will we use our batteries to store energy and sell it back to the national grid? 

These questions and many more will be answered by our panel of experts in this event supported by the Faraday Institution. 

This event is the second of a three-part series entitled 'The Batteries are Coming!'. The final event, 'the future of mobility' will be held on 10 September 2019.

About the speakers

Peter Stephens is Head of UK External & Government Affairs at Nissan Motor (GB). His role includes leading engagement with external stakeholders on a wide range of issues from zero emission vehicles to business competitiveness. Prior to joining Nissan in 2015, he was a senior civil servant at the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, most recently working on EU competitiveness issues. Previous roles included renewable energy, international trade, employment regulation and business financing. He started his career in the water industry, working in operational management and strategy development.

Vicky Edmonds is Joint Head of OLEV, the Office of Low Emission Vehicles, along with her jobshare partner Natasha Robinson. Vicky has worked within Government for around 15 years, starting her time in the UK civil service working with local authorities to tackle congestion in major urban areas. She has worked in a range of environmental policy roles, tackling issues related to freight sector emissions, air quality and aviation noise emissions; and had a brief stint in HM Treasury where she worked on the sale of the Royal Mail. Moving back into environmental policy around two years ago she led the Department for Transport’s environmental strategy team before joining Natasha last April in OLEV. This is perhaps her most exciting role to date – being  part of the global transition to zero emission technologies as well as the parallel move to autonomous vehicles, and helping to shape fundamental changes to the way that people and goods will move about in the future.

With over 40 years’ experience in the automotive industry Colin Herron established Zero Carbon Futures in 2011 to support the growth of the electric vehicle industry and input into e-mobility policy. He uses his experience and technical knowledge to try and plot technology trajectories for the sector and support and advise a ZCF’s clients on how best to adapt to the introduction of EV. He is currently working with the Mayor of London and Transport for London on their EV infrastructure requirements for the future. 

Joanna Coleman worked in Shell for 20 years in oil and gas development, national energy planning and business development. In 2011 Joanna joined the Energy Technologies Institute, a public-private partnership accelerating technology development and demonstration to support the UK’s energy transition. Joanna led the ETI’s modellers and sector experts exploring energy transition pathways and the opportunities and challenges in delivering them. Joanna returned to Shell in 2018 as Energy Transition Manager where she oversees all Shell’s energy transition related activities in the UK. Joanna was awarded an OBE in 2018 and is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IMechE.

The event will chaired by Alok Jha. Alok is science and technology correspondent at The Economist and author of The Water Book. Previously he was a Wellcome Trust fellow and has also worked at ITV News, the Guardian and the BBC.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.


This event will be filmed and on the Ri's YouTube channel within a few months. Subscribe for free to hear when new videos are released.


The theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the 

The theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

There is space at floor level in the theatre for wheelchair users.

Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, please do let us know by email and we’ll be more than happy to help. Email:

Carers can receive a free ticket to an event by emailing

Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop. 

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