Business Secretary Greg Clark sought to defend the government’s clean growth and Brexit agendas today, as he attempted to manage the fallout from Honda’s decision to close its Swindon factory citing the need to increase its focus on the global electric vehicle (EV) market. Clark conceded Honda’s decision this morning was a blow for the UK, but insisted there were “huge opportunities” for electric and autonomous transport in the UK, and that there was still “every reason” for the UK to become a “world leader” in the green transport. “One of the things that frustrates me about the Honda decision is that they are accelerating the move into electric vehicles, and I think in a few years’ time it will be evident that the results of the investment we are making – into being the leader in the next generation of battery technology and a test bed for autonomous vehicles – will give us the chance to lead the automotive sector of the future,” said Clark. “We are determined to do that.” He also highlighted energy storage as a priority for the government over the coming year as part of its Industrial Strategy, arguing that such technologies would play a key role in its Sector Deals with the offshore wind and automotive industries to help spur further investment. “The application of many of these technologies in the automotive sector into energy storage – to make the greatest use of what is now a leading industry in the UK for offshore wind, we need to be able to store it,” he explained.
Business Green 19th Feb 2019 read more »