Automotive

Government support needed for UK electric vehicles

4th September 2020
Alex Lynn

Commentating on a new report by the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT) published (Friday 4th September) which shows that the public remain sceptical about the purchase of electric cars, Unite, which represents tens of thousands of automotive workers, has called on the government to ensure UK car manufacturers are given sufficient support to meet future UK electric vehicle challenges.

Unite national officer Des Quinn said: “This report demonstrates beyond doubt that the government has got to up its game in supporting the development and purchasing of electric vehicles.

“First and foremost support needs to be provided for all UK automotive manufacturers to be building electric vehicles in the UK. Giving tax breaks and discounts to electric models made overseas is ultimately self-defeating and could affect UK jobs.

“It is absolutely imperative that the government urgently enacts a comprehensive programme of investment in electric vehicle infrastructure, including expanding the network of fast charging points.

“Until drivers are reassured that they can recharge their cars when they need to and they won’t be left stranded miles from home, sales of electric vehicles will not increase significantly.

“The prime minister has promised to build, build, build and this is a project, which will create jobs, develop skills and reduce the UK’s carbon footprint in the long-term.

“Finally, it is vital that the cart is not put before the horse. Realistically, we remain some way from the mass roll out of electric cars. In the meantime, incentives need to be provided for the purchase of the cleanest new car models.

“This will provide UK car makers with the financial resources and the confidence to invest in the future development of electric vehicles in the UK.”  

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