The biggest long-term problem for the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) industry is Brexit, not coronavirus.
That’s the suggestion from Dr Ashley Fly, Lecturer in Vehicle Electrification at the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering of Loughborough University, who spoke to future Net Zero about the potential threat the coronavirus could pose to the future of the low carbon transport in the UK.
He said: “Coronavirus could have a little impact on the EV market for the next one and a half to two years. However, in the long term, Brexit itself could have a huge influence on the automotive industry. Some large manufacturers are looking for production facilities in Europe. It’s difficult for them to invest in the UK if they do not know about the security of supply chains in the future.”
The UK Government has set a deadline of 2035 to end the sales of new petrol and diesel cars and EVs will need to form the majority of the vehicles sold in the UK by this time.
Dr Fly added: “Investment is essential. Sometimes is the perceived chicken and egg problem about what comes first, EVs or the charging infrastructure… what it is needed is a combination.
“Also, if we want to maintain our leading automotive industry we really need to try to produce vehicles in the UK. That’s where difficulties arise and that’s where big investment will be needed.”