Car Industry Body Calls for Investment in Battery Manufacturing and Charge Points

Government should invest in 60 GWh of EV battery capacity and 2.3 million charge points by 2030, says a new strategy funded by car industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Entitled Full Throttle: Driving UK Automotive Competitiveness, the plan sets out a series of policy proposals for next year and the rest of the decade to help secure the global competitiveness of the UK’s automotive sector, which it says contributes £15 billion to the economy and is the country’s largest exporter of goods.

The report argues that the automotive industry will undergo “the most fundamental transformation since its creation” and warns that the UK risks falling behind and putting jobs at risk.

Its 12 policy proposals include a commitment to creating 60 GWh of battery production within the UK by 2030 and support for the development of a fuel cell factory with 2 GWh capacity to support cars, heavy vehicles and trains. It wants a new “Build Back Better” fund to support the creation of manufacturing jobs and “net zero critical industries” such as manufacturers of low carbon, hydrogen and battery vehicles. The proposals also include a call for 2.3 million public charge points by 2030, an overhaul of the taxation system and a continuation of plug-in incentives beyond their current term.

Speaking at the automotive industry’s annual summit, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The Government has made clear its support for the sector in its negotiations with Europe, so now is the time to go full throttle and take bold action to support one of Britain’s most important industries.”

The report works on the basis of four different scenarios ranging from “stranded” (extremely negative) to “optimistic”. Its “central” scenarios assumes that total demand for vehicles continues to grow in line with recent trends, but with EVs gradually taking up increasing market share.

Photo credit: SMMT

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