UK electric dreams held back by a lack of new cars being produced
Just three out of every 10 cars made in the UK last year were electric or hybrid. The figures come despite a ban on the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.
There are fears manufacturing jobs in the UK car industry will be in danger if the country fails to become a centre for electric vehicle production.
Des Quinn, of the Unite union, said: “Ministers still do not seem to grasp that to retain a successful UK automotive sector and the
valuable jobs it supports there needs to be concrete plans in place to ‘green’ our vehicle production and transport network.
“The industry’s future depends on EV battery factories in the UK and a domestic supply chain that produces the full range of EV components and systems.”
Prof Peter Wells, director of Cardiff University’s Center for Auto-motive Industry Research, said: “Companies are scrambling to invest in battery production and new EV models.
The mainstream UK car and van industry is at risk without sufficient domestic supply of those crucial high-value battery packs. But we are already behind the pace compared with Europe.”
Production of cleaner energy cars has accelerated rapidly in recent years. In 2018, 9.4 percent were electric or hybrid, but last year the figure was 30.2 percent.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manu-facturers and Traders, said: “British electrified car production is charging ahead to record levels.
“And major new commitments to EV manufacturing and supply chains are coming on stream soon.
“We need to build on these foundations, however, and attract investment amid fierce international competition.”
Bill Esterson, Labour’s shadow business and industry minister, said: “Labour will invest in the eight gigafactories we need to transition to electric vehicles and ensure we keep pace with competitors in the US and EU.”
A Government spokesman said: “We are determined to ensure the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing, especially as we transition to electric vehicles.”
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