Are electric cars a product who’s primary focus is to ease pressure on the environment, or do governments support the development of these industries in their nations because they see the potential economic benefits of investing in tomorrow’s automotive transportation technology? A recent study suggested it is the latter, and a huge public/private partnership in the United Kingdom is bringing this concept even further home.
The national government of the UK, in conjunction with the private automobile sector there, each have pledged to invest £500 million into an “Advanced Propulsion Centre” concept over the next ten years. This £1 billion investment is designed to help keep this island nation competitive as more and more low carbon vehicles and supporting infrastructure are built out across Europe and beyond.
The UK has a lot riding on remaining competitive in a developing green vehicle market. With 1.58 million vehicles produced in 2012, and four out of five vehicles exported to 100 countries worldwide, the society as a whole seems to see the need for this kind of capital backing of new auto engine technology innovation so it
can secure the long term future of the industry over the next 20 to 30 years by growing the UK share of the value chain and by getting ahead of the game in research and development (R&D) on low carbon vehicles.
As the Telegraph reports, by 2040 “almost none of Europe’s new cars will be powered solely by a traditional petrol or diesel engine, according to researchers.” This Centre is designed to help make sure the UK is pumping out a good number of this new breed of car, and that those in the job sector are ready to take on what will be required of them in skills. What this accounts to in numbers in the automotive sector is “at least 30,000 jobs currently linked to producing engines” while also creating “many more in the supply chain.”
“The UK automotive sector has been incredibly successful in recent times, said Business Secretary Vince Cable in a statement, “with billions of pounds of investment and new jobs. This has been achieved by government and industry working together. With the next generation of vehicles set to be powered by radically different technologies we need to maintain this momentum and act now. Our industrial strategy will ensure we keep on working together to make our automotive industry a world leader.”