Representatives from three vehicle manufacturers and an energy provider this afternoon set out how they see the UK moving towards an ultra-low carbon future. Whilst all speakers agreed on a broad consensus that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, they each presented an individual approach within the panel debate and Q&A session. Despite varying tactics being discussed, it was clear that an intelligent mix of affordable, accessible and efficient technologies is central to tackling the ultra-low carbon challenge.
Constantinos Vafidis, Transmissions and Hybrid Director at Fiat Powertrains, outlined several proposals addressing sustainable mobility for the future. The collective view of the panel was reflected in his closing remarks, concluding, “It is clear that there is no single technology which can technically and economically cure in a short term the transportation emissions issues.”
Peter Richings, Group Chief Engineer, Hybrids and Electrification at Jaguar Land Rover, was next to talk about his company’s approach to low carbon. Richings stressed three areas of efficiency within their life cycle analyses: parasitic losses (including tyres and aerodynamics), weight and propulsion. He went on to highlight low carbon projects at JLR, such as the Limo-Green range-extended electric vehicle and the more recent Range_e. Richings also discussed what he saw as key investment in R&D within WMG at the University of Warwick, as well as encouraging thousands of young people into careers in engineering.
Jon Goodman, Managing Director of Peugeot UK, was the third speaker on stage, presenting the company’s low carbon product strategy. He discussed the recent ‘Mu by Peugeot’ initiative, a mobility concept where customers do not buy new cars, but instead redeem points to use different models at different times, depending on their needs. Goodman said that this fundamentally challenged the vehicle ownership model, describing it as “Drive what you need, when you need it.”
Angus Wilby, Head of Energy Services at EDF Energy was the final speaker on stage. As well as presenting the forecast of UK energy production, he talked specifically about the investment in technology that was needed now to work towards ultra-low carbon in the future. One of Wilby’s key conclusions was that delivering the 80% carbon emissions reduction by 2050 as set out in the Climate Change Act will require the UK to almost entirely decarbonise its transport activities.
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