The UK car industry is experiencing a crisis. Declining investment and troubling factors linked to Brexit have created thousands of redundancies through factory closures, such as Honda’s proposed closure of its Swindon plant in 2022. Despite this, there appears to be a solution for the automotive industry – and it’s the up and coming force.
A record 59,945 electric vehicles were registered in the UK in 2018, giving it a market share of nearly 4% of all cars sold. Combined with falling investment across the combustion industry, and Land Rover Jaguar’s one-million-pound investment into electric vehicles in June 2018, it is clear that should Britain wish to rediscover her automotive might, electric is the way to go.
The biggest boost to the industry is the confirmation of three new hybrid and electric vehicle models to be built in the UK: the Nissan Leaf, the new MINI Electric and the hybrid version of the Toyota Corolla, the most popular selling car worldwide. This commitment to electric will help to offset the loss of diesel production coming from Nissan pulling out of building its Qashqai model in Sunderland.
Combustion emissions are a massive contributor to the growing climate crisis, so the UK’s move to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 in favour of electric is an important step towards saving the planet. Yet, other countries have set much shorter deadlines – Norway has said that combustion engine powered cars can’t be produced after 2025! The automotive industry can help accelerate the process within the UK by investing in battery production on our shores. In leu of the combustion engine factories closing, one possible solution is converting them into battery production factories to offset the extra weight of the batteries and negate needing to transport them long distances.
The automotive industry is a forever changing landscape, and electric vehicles are certainly the up and coming force within the sector. The potential of electric cars could save the UK industry – so long as it is fully embraced.
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