Ineos boss says EV demand has ‘dried up’ as he calls on governments to rethink plans

  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe takes major swipe at EVs
  • Ineos owner calls for a ‘transition period’ between fossil fuels and greener alternatives
  • He also claims ‘you can’t give a second-hand electric car away in the UK’

Time 11:34 am, May 9, 2024

Ineos boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe has taken a major swipe at EVs and called on governments to rethink their electrification strategies.

The multi billionaire, who recently bought a minority stake in Manchester United, has admitted he is not a fan of electric cars and says ‘demand has dried up’.

He even quipped ‘you can’t give a second-hand electric car away in the UK’, in a lengthy opinion piece in today’s Daily Telegraph.

The comments come despite his company recently unveiling its first ever EV, in the form of the Fusilier SUV, due on sale in 2027.

Outlining his thoughts on EVs and the current level of demand, the 71-year-old said: ‘The electric car is not popular today. The early adopters have all bought theirs so now the car giants are having to persuade “normal punters” of the merits of going electric and they are having none of it.

‘There is a rather fundamental drawback with the electric car.  It simply doesn’t do what you want a car to do. It doesn’t get you from A to B reliably if you are on a long journey and you have no idea whether you will be able to fill it up.

‘Put it together and it’s referred to as “range anxiety” and it’s very real. Electric is fine and dandy for the short local journey, but should you decide to head off for the hills, forget it, hence demand has dried up.

‘Tesla is making 14,000 workers redundant.  Sales of electric in Germany in March collapsed by 30%.  You can’t give a second-hand electric car away in the UK.’

Elsewhere in the piece, the business mogul accused politicians of ‘dreaming’ and called for a ‘transition period’ between fossil fuels and greener alternatives.

He also expressed his support for hydrogen fuel cell cars as well as range extenders, which will be offered alongside electric versions of Ineos’s upcoming Fusilier.

‘Politicians have been dreaming of vote winning green agendas and utopian engineering and energy switches,’ Ratcliffe added.

‘Dreams of course, don’t need to be real. They don’t need to accommodate the needs of the consumer, the practicalities of installing colossal new infrastructure and the small matter of where all this electricity is coming from? Coal?

‘Flipping transportation from fossil fuels direct to electric is not like flipping a light switch. The very notion is barmy, which is why the USA predicts electric car take up by 2050 in the USA will only be 20%. In Europe, our idealists are heading towards 100%.

‘The solution is not difficult.  There needs to be a transition period between fossil fuels and green fuels.

‘During this transition, the world needs to install the necessary infrastructure and energy modifications and throughout the transition phase the ‘trajectory’ towards green fuels needs to be positive.

‘The transition period will also allow time for alternative technologies to emerge. Hydrogen fuel is clearly an interesting option for larger vehicles either in the form of a hydrogen fuel cell or direct burn hydrogen engines. There will be other clean fuels too in time.

‘The interim solution today which serves the need of the consumer is either the hybrid or electric vehicle with range extender (REX). I like the latter.’

Main image: © Martin Rickett/PA Images

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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