The feeling of relief in the British car industry was almost palpable on Friday, when Jaguar Land Rover said it would invest billions in producing new electric vehicles in the UK. After the recent closure of two other UK automotive factories in five months – Honda in Swindon and Ford in Bridgend – JLR boss Ralf Speth was clearly pleased to have good news for the 2,500 workers at the Castle Bromwich plant. Yet amid the congratulations, Speth also struck a note of warning. Not on Brexit this time, but on the future of the car sector in the absence of a British battery industry. “One thing is clear: if batteries go out of the UK, then also the automotive production will go out of the UK,” he said. The combination of the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal, the entry of Tesla and imminent decarbonisation targets have set carmakers scrambling to make vehicles powered by lithium ion batteries.
Guardian 7th July 2019 read more »
Two of Britain’s biggest energy suppliers are accelerating the drive towards greener vehicles by pledging to replace their existing fleet of vans with all-electric models by 2030. British Gas owner Centrica and SSE have committed to switch to electric cars and vans a decade ahead of the government’s ban on the sale of new combustion engine vehicles. British Gas will electrify its 12,500 vans, the third largest fleet of vehicles in the UK, to transport its 15,000 engineers across the country to customer homes. SSE said it would switch its 3,500 vehicles, the UK’s seventh biggest fleet of cars, to electric models, and install charging points for its 21,000 employees.
Guardian 8th July 2019 read more »
Business Green 8th July 2019 read more »
Lithium-ion costs are following the path of solar and falling, only faster. The world’s fast-growing EV sector is in strong health, according to the International Energy Agency. By 2025 the global market will be worth $570bn, with China enjoying a market share of 60 per cent or more. Nonetheless, China-based car manufacturers are struggling to fulfil production quotas set by the government. The take-up of EVs in the rest of the world is still far outweighed by purchases of conventional vehicles. According to Fransua Vytautas Razvadauskas, a senior cities analyst at Euromonitor International, the three main reasons for consumer reluctance are a lack of charging points, extensive charge time and inadequate battery range. Cost is another factor. EVs are not expected to fall to the prices of standard cars until 2022-2025, according to Bloomberg, although estimates vary. In China, the government has begun scaling back consumer subsidies as EVs become more commercially viable.
FT 8th July 2019 read more »
Congo, child labour and your electric car.
FT 7th July 2019 read more »