Ford of Britain chairman Graham Hoare (pictured) has called for a joined-up, clear and consistent long-term Government-partnered strategy to help the UK meet its target of only allowing the sale of zero-emissions new vehicles in the 2030s.
Speaking at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders International Automotive Summit Live 2020
online event, he said: “A successful future for the auto industry is dependent on achieving our longer-term objective of a zero-emissions future; that is definitely the path we are on at Ford.
“However, we should be under no illusion that reaching this goal will require an unparalleled level of commitment and co-operation by a range of different stakeholders — Government departments, local authorities, the auto industry, energy providers, and customers.
“We need Government to partner with us and have joint equity in formulating and delivering a comprehensive and consistent strategy that provides a path to the future — a path that also encompasses a range of technologies, including mild hybrids, hybrids and plug-in hybrids on the route to zero emissions.
“Given the size and scale of what we want to achieve in the UK, we will not see a shift from the internal combustion engine to all-electric vehicles in a single jump. Customer confidence is not ready for that leap yet, and the cost gap between petrol or diesel and all-electric vehicles is still significant.
“This is why a range of bridging technologies from mild hybrids through to plug-in hybrids is essential, and why plug-in hybrids also should be considered as a viable technology well into the 2030s.
“We’ve seen recently at Ford what can be achieved when different stakeholders come together with a common purpose — namely, working in partnership with a wide range of different partners in the Ventilator Challenge
UK to build ventilators for the NHS.
“We need a similar spirit of endeavour, if we are to meet the electrification challenge — not a ‘can do’ attitude but a ‘will do’ determination. However, time is short; we must start today, because tomorrow will be too late.”