CEO Update

Government support essential for transport decarbonisation

16 July 2021 #CEO Update

It has been a busy week for the decarbonisation agenda in the UK and across Europe with our government announcing on Wednesday the world’s first ‘greenprint’ to decarbonise all modes of transport by 2050, and the EU releasing its own ambitious plans. This is welcome news for the automotive industry as the publication of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan in the UK, and the associated consultations, are necessary to create a clear and supportive framework to accelerate the transition to net zero mobility.

UK Automotive shares the Government’s ambition and is committed to zero-emission motoring with more than 140 models of electrified cars currently on the market, meaning one in three models available to purchase are now zero-emission capable. At the same time, the sector is developing many types of zero-emission technologies for heavy commercial vehicles, with electric, hydrogen and other alternative fuel options.

The goals set out in the plan are incredibly ambitious and the timeline is tight, so achieving net zero cannot rely solely on the automotive sector. If we are to accelerate market uptake for the latest, cleanest cars, vans and trucks then massive investment, not least in infrastructure that is compatible across the UK and EU, is necessary and must be delivered at accelerated pace.

We also need an irreversible and long-term commitment to incentives. Only appropriate support such as this will ensure that the shift to electrified vehicles is affordable for all and that hauliers, for instance, don’t defer their decarbonising decision to the last minute.

We will be working with all our members to provide a clear and compelling response to all the consultations to ensure the voice of the industry – which is shouldering much of the burden – is heard. We would invite all members to work with us, feeding in their specific points through the usual channels. Some of the consultations have only a seven week response time so, given this will fall over traditional summer shutdown periods, early engagement is encouraged.

Of course, the transition to net zero is not merely the responsibility of vehicle manufacturers. We need to transition much of the supply chain and SMMT’s Meet the Buyer is always an excellent business to business event at which suppliers can discuss their products with purchasing departments. SMMT Meet the Buyer will be returning for its second edition of the this year on 19 October at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry and we are hopeful of running the event in person, a much more engaging format to match automotive buyers with suppliers and the development of meaningful business connections during this key period of recovery and transition.

The last event, which took place in May and saw more than 240 suppliers and 10 purchasing departments from a range of companies including Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren and LEVC attend 60 meetings throughout the day, with more than 50 components being sourced. The October one promises to be bigger with a greater focus on technologies that will support the transition to electrified vehicles so to submit your interest in attending Meet the Buyer, please click here.

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