The UK is at risk of falling behind other nations when it comes to electric cars according to new analysis.
Although Britain now has the world’s fifth most competitive automotive industry in the world, with Formula One an example of technological innovation, this lead “will not be maintained automatically” suggests the left-leaning think tank IPPR in analysis yesterday.
Signs of a new industry growing up around ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) are strong in the UK, with the report called ‘Leading the Charge’ pointing to examples such as Japanese firm Nissan which in recent years has invested £725 million in producing their LEAF car model in the UK. Toyota is producing engines for the Auris hybrid here while British firm Axeon is Europe’s largest independent lithium-ion battery system supplier.
The report states: “Ensuring that more ULEVs and their parts are produced in the UK will require an unprecedented collaboration between government and industry.”
The UK must get rid of existing barriers which might stop people buying cars for example by improving the charging network, if it wants to become a world leader in low-carbon motoring, suggests the IPPR. The think tank reckons a ‘green badge’ scheme giving electric drivers free parking and exemptions from road tolls would encourage more people to buy them.