CEO Update

Government investments a good start on the road to zero emission transport

14 September 2018 #CEO Update

There was a flurry of interest in zero emission vehicles this week, with Cenex-LCV 2018 enjoying record visitor numbers and the prime minister announcing £106m of investment for ULEV research and development.

The government has set out its ambitions in its Road to Zero strategy but, in the long run, delivering these ambitions will require further investment to help reshape the automotive landscape. This sector is already driving the change to zero emission transport with a host of new products, be they electric, hybrid (plug-in and otherwise) and even hydrogen. Much of this technology will be on display in Japan shortly and we’re pleased to represent the UK’s contribution to that technological shift at the Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS 31) in Kobe at end of September.

We want the UK to continue as a global leader in zero-emission technologies, which means creating the right conditions to encourage manufacturers to invest, innovate and sell competitively in Britain.

It’s not just about the newer technologies though – current powertrains (petrol and diesel) are cleaner than they have ever been. Policy makers must do more to encourage consumers to take advantage of the latest high-efficiency petrols, diesels and AFVs and purchase the latest models as this is the fastest way to address environmental concerns.

In terms of new technologies, we need a long-term commitment from government, with a world-class package of tangible support that matches our ambitions, but that support will have a questionable impact without the right economic and political environment for businesses to thrive.

This week more than 150 British companies have been exhibiting at Automechanika Frankfurt, the leading event for the aftermarket sector. SMMT was there, hosting the largest ever UK pavilion, testament to the fact that Britain’s aftermarket is a great success story, worth more than £21 billion.

The aftermarket opportunities overseas are even bigger, with considerable demand for the UK’s high quality and innovative new products and trusted brands. Our next overseas aftermarket events take place in Shanghai this November and New Delhi next February, both with grant support available for members. Contact the international team for more details.