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Ford calls for long-term strategy to achieve zero emissions vehicles sales targets

Time 11 months ago

Ford has called for a long-term, government-partnered strategy to achieve zero emissions vehicle sales target date in the UK in the 2030s.

Speaking at the SMMT’s International Automotive Summit Live 2020, Ford of Britain chairman, Graham Hoare, said the automotive industry needed a clear and consistent plan that includes incentives to get customers to buy new cars fitted with the latest technologies.

‘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,’ said Hoare.

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‘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.’

Hoare used Norway as an example of how a government over the last 30 years can offer zero emissions incentives to new car buyers – both purchasing incentives (like zero purchase tax) and social ones like use of bus lanes and cheaper parking.

The Ford of Britain chairman outlined how a strategy for the UK should look:

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  • Incentives – both purchase and usage incentives – that encourage consumers to adopt new technologies – not just for all-electrics but for other technologies such as PHEVs that will pave the way for a zero emissions future
  • Infrastructure – a quantum leap in the number and geographical spread of recharging points including on-street, workplace, destination and high-speed charging.
  • Energy generation – a decision on what technologies will provide the UK with the electrical power it needs in a clean and efficient manner in the years ahead to support the growth of zero emissions vehicles
  • Vehicles – the car industry needs to provide the breadth and volume of vehicles and personal transport options that provide our customers with the freedom to travel and live their lives to the full

‘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.

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‘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.

He added: ‘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.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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