The government is to invest £4 billion in creating 250,000 new green jobs nationally as part of its plan to hit net zero emissions by 2050.
A new 10-point plan for a so-called green industrial revolution sets out a range of investments in energy and green technology, in particular identifying electric vehicles as a core plank of its future motoring strategy.
The plans also outline a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 – five years earlier than previously planned.
Grants for electric vehicles buyers will stretch to £582 million to help people make the transition.
An investment of £500 million will go towards the development and mass production of electric vehicle batteries alone, with the West Midlands being identified as a key area for this investment.
Further details of the plan are expected by the end of the month in an energy white paper proposing future legislation.
Coventry’s role in a green automotive future
Coventry’s motoring heritage is undeniable, but the city’s current position in the industry should not be overlooked, as well as the future role it will play in the transition to electric vehicles.
The city is already emerging as a leader in electric batteries, with the new £130 million, publicly-funded UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) providing the missing link between battery technology and mass production – the most important element in reducing the cost of electric vehicles.
UKBIC stands to benefit greatly from plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030.
Meanwhile, local academia is at the cutting-edge of automotive excellence. The Advanced Propulsion Centre alongside the National Automotive Innovation Centre, both at the University of Warwick, are globally renowned for automotive engineering and manufacturing.
The university is already working with McLaren Automotive on a project to reduce the size, weight and emissions of current electric vehicles by exploring ways to make electrodes for Lithium-ion batteries.
Nick Abell, Chair of the CWLEP, explained that “the long-standing partnerships we have cultivated between industry, the public sector, our two universities, and other industry bodies means that future investment will plug directly into a mature automotive, transport technology and skills eco-system.”
The private sector is also well represented in the area with Jaguar Land Rover, LEVC, Geely and Lotus making major local investments as part of their electrification strategies.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle said that Coventry is at “the heart of the green industrial revolution”, adding that he has “no doubt that we have the pedigree, skills, location and partnerships to take advantage of further investment in the sector.”
Councillor O’Boyle also voiced the vital need for a Gigafactory in Coventry in order to “secure the production and manufacture of batteries at scale in our region”, a call previously backed by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, local business leaders and MPs.