PM hosts automotive leaders at Downing Street

Downing Street

Prime Minister Theresa May outlined the government’s commitment to the UK’s automotive sector and called for the UK to stay at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of electric vehicles at a roundtable held at Downing Street yesterday.

Speaking at the meeting attended by chief executives, senior leaders and experts in the car and energy industries, she emphasised that this can only be done through a strong partnership between the industry and government.

The meeting is part of wider action from government to support the automotive industry, and the Prime Minister confirmed today that Jaguar Land Rover will receive a £500m loan guarantee from government export credit agency UK Export Finance. This will support the company’s design and manufacture of the next generation of electric vehicles and its export activities.

The representatives discussed with the Prime Minister that as well as having long term consistent incentives and the right charging infrastructure in place to drive up demand for electric vehicles, the UK should build on its strengths in the development of next-generation battery technology.

The UK has already made a major commitment to the industry through its £274m investment in the Faraday Battery Challenge and earlier investments through the Automotive Propulsion Centre. Attendees spoke about how best to build on this and work more closely together to develop the next generation of battery technology, including by supporting small businesses in the electrified supply chain and the building of a Gigafactory – a large-scale battery technology factory for electric vehicles.

Attendees also agreed to establish a Green Mobility Transition Board which for the first time will formally bring together government, industry and environmental groups to coordinate efforts to speed up the adoption of ultra low emission vehicles while making progress on our ambitions to tackle climate change and further improve air quality. The Prime Minister’s Industrial, Manufacturing and Infrastructure Business Council will work closely with representatives across the relevant sectors to scope out the exact terms of reference and members over the coming weeks.