Green infrastructure strategy a major opportunity for UK manufacturing

A raft of new measures outlined by the government as part of its ambition to increase the number of ultra low emission vehicles on Britain’s roads by 2030 has been welcomed by Made In Group as a major opportunity for British manufacturing.

The government’s plan, as part of its Industrial Strategy, is to put the UK at the forefront of an industry that is estimated to be worth up to £7.6 trillion per year by 2050.

The new measures are outlined in the Road to Zero Strategy, which sets out plans to enable a massive expansion of green infrastructure across the country, reduce emissions from the vehicles already on the UK’s roads, and drive the uptake of zero emission cars, vans and trucks.

As part of the its Road to Zero Strategy, the government has outlined:

  • a push for chargepoints to be installed in newly built homes, where appropriate, and new lampposts to include charging points, potentially providing a massive expansion of the plug-in network
  • the launch of a £400m Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund to help accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure by providing funding to new and existing companies that produce and install charge points. (A fund manager will be appointed in due course)
  • creating a new £40m programme to develop and trial innovative, low cost wireless and on-street charging technology
  • providing up to £500 for electric vehicle owners to put in a charge point in their home through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme and an increase in the value of grants available to workplaces to install chargepoints so people can charge when they are at work
  • the extension of the Plug-In Car and Van Grants to at least October 2018 at current rates, and in some form until at least 2020
  • the launch of an Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce to bring together the energy and automotive industries to plan for the increase in demand on energy infrastructure that will result from a rise in the use of electric vehicles

Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “The Road to Zero Strategy sets out a clear path for Britain to be a world leader in the zero emission revolution – ensuring that the UK has cleaner air, a better environment and a stronger economy.”

Jason Pitt, CEO, Made In Group, said: “The scope of the new strategy is laudable and presents a major opportunity to UK manufacturing.

“However, if the UK is to become a true global leader in ultra low emission vehicles then British firms need to be given the contracts to fulfil the new energy infrastructure.

“We have the skills and capabilities within this country to achieve this but what we don’t want to see is a scenario where we these contracts are offshored and we end up subsidising the Teslas of this world.

“We will be urging our members to take the lead in this field and to recognise the enormous opportunities this offers to develop innovative technology that could be a major revenue generator for decades to come.

“We hope the government recognises this as well and gives its backing to UK manufacturing.”