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Long term strategy needed to meet government zero emission ambitions, says Ford

By / 10 months ago / UK News / No Comments

Echoing calls made earlier today by the SMMT, Ford of Britain’s chairman, Graham Hoare, called for government to provide a joined-up, clear and consistent long-term strategy to meet the 2030s time-frame for zero emission vehicle-only sales.

Ford of Britain's chairman, Graham Hoare

Ford of Britain’s chairman, Graham Hoare

Speaking at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders International Automotive Summit Live 2020 online event, Hoare said: “A successful future for the auto industry is dependent on achieving our longer-term objective of a zero emissions future – that is definitely the path we are on at Ford.

“However, we should be under no illusion that reaching this goal will require an unparalleled level of commitment and cooperation by a range of different stakeholders – government departments, local authorities, the auto industry, energy providers, and customers.

“We need government to partner with us and have joint equity in formulating and delivering a comprehensive and consistent strategy that encompasses all stakeholders and that provides a path to the future – a path that also encompasses a range of technologies, including mild hybrids, hybrids and plug-in hybrids on the route to zero emissions.”

The comments were made following warnings from industry that jobs will be lost unless the UK Government steps in with a recovery strategy in light of both impacts made by COVID-19 and compounded by a possible no-deal Brexit.

Hoare outlined some of the key considerations for a strategy for the UK could include measures similar to those successfully adopted in Norway. This includes incentives for both purchase and usage; infrastructure spread with on-street charging, workplace and destination charge points; energy generation to ensure viability of an electric vehicle car parc; and vehicles themselves, which the auto industry will provide in sufficient volumes and without detrimental impact to society or livelihoods.

“Given the size and scale of what we want to achieve in the UK, we will not see a shift from the internal combustion engine to all-electric vehicles in a single jump. Customer confidence is not ready for leap yet, and the cost gap between petrol or diesel and all-electric vehicles is still significant. This is why a range of bridging technologies from mild hybrids through to plug-in hybrids are essential, and why plug-in hybrids also should be considered as a viable technology well into the 2030s,” said Hoare.

“We’ve seen recently at Ford what can be achieved when different stakeholders come together with a common purpose, namely working in partnership with a wide range of different partners in the VentilatorChallengeUK building ventilators for the NHS.

“We need a similar spirit of endeavour if we are to meet the electrification challenge – not a ‘can do’ attitude but a ‘will do’ determination. But time is short, and we must start today because tomorrow will be too late.”

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.