In recent years, the UK automotive industry has seen a dramatic shift towards electric vehicles. The number of EVs registered in the UK has more than tripled since 2017 and surpassed diesel registrations for the first time this month.
This growth is driven largely by stricter environmental regulations, the government’s ‘Road to Zero’ strategy, and consumer preferences.
However, while this shift presents an opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions, it creates a number of challenges for the British automotive industry.
The outlook for electric vehicles
One of the biggest is preparing for mass adoption of EVs. With traditional vehicle production reliant on internal combustion engines, car manufacturers need to rethink their supply chains to accommodate for electric batteries and components.
It’s also essential that carmakers update production lines to build EVs more quickly and cost-effectively. The other major challenge facing the British automotive sector is transitioning its skilled workforce from petrol-and-diesel engineering to designing, building and servicing new types of electronics and components.
This requires widespread retraining programmes as well as investment in renewable energy infrastructure to power UK charging points.
Furthermore, with battery prices still relatively high, affordability is a key issue for prospective EV customers.
Mechanisms like government grant schemes and no-deposit deals help to make EVs more financially attractive, but manufacturers must develop ways to reduce costs without compromising quality – something which becomes increasingly important in competitive markets.
In summary, while the UK automotive industry is well positioned to take advantage of the growth of electric vehicles, there are a number of challenges ahead.
Faced with the need to develop new technologies; retrain staff; and reduce costs, carmakers have an urgent need to invest in research and innovation if they are to remain competitive in 2023 and beyond.
What are the main barriers to EV adoption?
The main barriers to electric vehicle (EV) adoption include, but are not limited to: cost, lack of infrastructure and infrastructure quality, inadequate charging times and availability of public charging points, limited ranges of vehicles, and the lack of fully developed technical knowledge.
Cost is a major barrier to EV purchase since new EVs are often more expensive than standard gas powered cars.
The cost associated with installing public charging points, as well as creating more efficient, powerful batteries also adds to the overall cost.
Another barrier is the lack of public charging infrastructure, which can lead to “range anxiety” amongst potential customers.
Finally, since electric cars are relatively new technology, drivers may be hesitant to make the switch as they may not be confident in having the necessary technical know-how (or having access to qualified technicians) to address any difficulties that may arise with the car.
The UK outlook for electric vehicles is very positive, with the government committing to a total ban of the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
This has created a surge in interest in electric vehicles and as a result, more manufacturers and dealers are offering EV models.
EV charging infrastructure is also growing steadily, with many petrol stations now offering EV charging points.
Battery technology is rapidly improving, allowing for longer distances to be travelled and quicker charging times.
Finally, the cost of owning an EV is becoming more competitive, with government grants and subsidies available to help with the initial purchase cost.