With government placing electric vehicles as a central tenet of the UK’s economic recovery that may include inducements such as a scrappage scheme encouraging the purchase of electric vehicles – expected to be announced at the beginning of July – new research released by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to coincide with government pledges around a ‘green recovery’ reveals that in the next five years the move to electric cars could benefit the UK economy by £24 billion.
With 100% of passenger cars requiring some form of electrification by 2030 and the ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, the forecast industrial revolution in the automotive industry is crucial to the UK economy post COVID-19.
Compiled by the APC, the ‘Strategic UK opportunities in passenger car electrification’ report identifies 12 key opportunities for UK industry in the future manufacture and supply chain for electric vehicles. While the report found that the building blocks for electrification are already in place, it breaks down the market growth opportunities in batteries (£12bn), power electronics (£10bn) and electric machines (£2bn). It indicates that given forecast global demand for electrified propulsion technologies, suppliers will need to ramp up their capacity to 10 times current levels.
Ian Constance, CEO at the Advanced Propulsion Centre says: “The electrification of vehicles is happening at pace, but if we are to deliver on our 2035 goals, and take our place as world-leaders, the supply chain will need to expand more rapidly – our research predicts up to ten-fold in the next five years.”
With a global potential of over £97 billion, the UK is already well placed and capable of delivering this growth with established global producers, an extensive chemical supply chain and leading research and development expertise.
Constance continues: “The report reveals that opportunities for UK-based companies are available right across the spectrum. In the next few years the APC expects to be funding projects developing technologies in everything from magnet manufacturing to semiconductors and electric steel to battery components.’
By building an ecosystem of collaboration between academics, industry and government funding the APC hopes to create an environment that can build complementary skills and develop high-impact technology and manufacturing processes and is primed to support those businesses with the most potential for growth.
Over an initial 10-year lifespan, the APC has a goal to save 50 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from the automotive industry, supporting the UK government’s net-zero plans. It is therefore investing in technologies that help lower emissions and protect the environment. The APC facilitates the relationship between UK government and the companies leading UK-based projects aimed at advancing low-carbon automotive technology.
Separately, on 16 June, ambitious plans for the UK’s first “gigafactory”, to produce battery packs were announced by Britishvolt, a start-up company founded by Orral Nadjari and fellow Swede Lars Carlstrom. The one kilometre-long plant in South Wales, near Aston Martin Lagonda’s new factory, is expected to begin production in 2023.