The National Infrastructure Commission (NICS) has called for more support to help drivers make the switch to electric vehicles, calling on the government to roll out a national charging network and subsidise rapid charge points in rural and remote areas where the market will not deliver straight away.
The call comes as Jaguar Land Rover revealed plans to manufacture a range of new electrified vehicles at its plant at Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands.
Announcing its commitment to electric car manufacturing in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover also called on government and industry to work together to bring giga-scale battery production to the UK, to put the country at the leading edge of electric mobility.
UK electric vehicle production is the next step in Jaguar Land Rover’s electrification strategy, safeguarding thousands of jobs, and the first vehicle has been confirmed as the next-generation all-electric Jaguar XJ.
Jaguar say extensive transformation of Castle Bromwich to become the UK’s first premium electrified vehicle plant will be the most significant in the plant’s history. Later this month, work will begin to commence the installation of all-new facilities and technologies required to support Jaguar Land Rover’s next-generation Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). Designed and engineered in-house, MLA enables flexible production of clean efficient diesel and petrol vehicles alongside full electric and hybrid models.
Ralf Speth, chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The future of mobility is electric, and we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK. We are co-locating our electric vehicle manufacture, electronic drive units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.
“Convenience and affordability are the two key enablers to drive the uptake of electric vehicles to the levels that we all need. Charging should be as easy as re-fuelling a conventional vehicle. Affordability will only be achieved if we make batteries here in the UK, close to vehicle production, to avoid the cost and safety risk of importing from abroad. The UK has the raw materials, scientific research in our universities and an existing supplier base to put the UK at the leading edge of mobility and job creation.”
National Infrastructure Commission chair Sir John Armitt welcomed the news. He said: “This investment in EVs technology is welcome and highlights an increasingly electric future for transport in this country, but we must support drivers to make the switch and address concerns about range anxiety. The government now needs an action plan to effectively charge up Britain and it should start by rolling out a national charging network and subsidising rapid charge points in rural and remote areas where the market will not deliver straight away.”