In May-2020, we needed a lift. We’d all been through the first and arguably harshest lockdown and Prime Minister Boris Johnson modified the COVID-19 message from “stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives” to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”. In other words, not knowing that further lockdowns would follow, the PM was working towards easing restrictions and reopening the economy. Within the automotive sector many tyre specialists, garages and fast-fits had closed along with OEM factories and car dealerships. One result of the latter was that car production figures fell to post-war lows. What better time to back a British electric vehicle battery manufacturing gigafactory? Several projects came to the fore. There was even talk of Elon Musk considering a Tesla gigafactory in the UK. But it was BritishVolt that Boris Johnson put his name to.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s “Skills Speech”, given at Exeter College yesterday. Boris Johnson said: “So I can announce today that we will be expanding apprenticeships, reforming the system so that unspent funds can be used more easily to support apprenticeships not just in big companies, but in the SMEs where there is so much potential for job creation”.
Earlier in the month, Boris Johnson announced the Government’s ambitious – or as some see it, overambitious – intention to bring forward the ban on new combustion-engine cars to 2035. Many have wondered how the country should go about developing an infrastructure of electric vehicle (EV) charging points within this timeframe. YourParkingSpace, the online parking marketplace, believes homeowners can play a role in keeping a growing EV fleet on the move.
Klarius Products Ltd. has slammed the government’s proposal to bring forward the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2035, calling the decision “an unworkable fantasy” that is more about political gain than solving a problem.
As we all now know, Boris Johnson became the United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister on 24 July. The first thing he did was replace almost the entire cabinet, with a reshuffle of unprecedented proportions. Next, he gave his maiden speech on the steps of 10 Downing Street, with an address that sought to build a platform for economic and political optimism against the recent backdrop of Brexit stagnation. Not only will we leave the EU by 31 October, we are going to do it in style, he effectively said. In doing so, Boris – as he is affectionately known – revealed as much about the changing nature of the automotive manufacturing industry and its suppliers as he did about British politics.
The London finale of the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship has received planning approval from Wandsworth Council. The race will be held on 27 and 28 June within the grounds of Battersea Park, a location which should, in the middle of summer, present an appropriately effulgent capital for the end of the series’ first season. An additional race will also be added to the London ePrix, increasing the inaugural calendar by one additional race to 11. Series founding partner Michelin will provide control tyres for both rounds, continuing in its role as Formula E official tyre supplier.