As the UK government prepares to bring forward a complete ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars to 2030, former CEO of Aston Martin, Andy Palmer said “investment in pioneering battery technology could offer the key to saving Britain’s car industry from decline”.

Palmer in October 2021 joined InoBat Auto, a European electric vehicle battery producer that has developed the world’s first intelligent battery.

HE said: “If the UK is not investing in batteries and pioneering battery technology, then ultimately Britain’s car industry will decline. Creating an environment where engineers are innovating through competition is Britain’s opportunity to become a global leader in zero carbon transport.”

Palmer warned of the potential risk of interference in the bid for net zero emissions: “Governments should define the problem and let engineers innovate the solution. Too many are putting in place legislation that picks a technology winner. Those that discourage Darwinism within technology run the risk of losing out on that all-important first mover advantage.”

Jamie Hamilton, head of electric vehicles at Deloitte, said: “Today’s show of commitment to electric vehicles should help convince consumers that it is worth investing in the technology ahead of the 2030 deadline. With more than half of consumers already considering an EV, today’s announcement is likely to prompt an acceleration of sales. The sector is already on a sharp upward trajectory, with EV sales poised to overtake diesel imminently. As an increasingly viable option for consumers, any additional boost to the EV sector could see the sales of electric vehicles challenge petrol alternatives. However, this will only happen if consumers are convinced that the necessary charging infrastructure is in place.

“With the timeline now set, the race is on for the UK’s charging infrastructure to keep up, with capacity likely to be tested at peak times. Continued coordination with charging infrastructure planning is essential for the sustained growth of EV adoption. Consumers will need to see a joined up approach that considers how many chargers are needed, what kind of chargers are needed and what the underlying power networks look like.”

Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry, said: “We knew it was coming, but of course the implications for the automotive industry are monumental; manufacturers now know that they must replace their entire product offering with electrified vehicles in less than 10 years. That can surely only mean that their ranges will shrink significantly compared to today. Let’s hope that consumer choice remains front and centre.

“If the new parc of electric vehicles can’t be serviced and repaired safely the whole plan will stall on the starting grid.

“Currently around just 5% of UK automotive technicians are adequately trained to work on electric vehicles. The ramp up plan for all those who are likely to work on electrical vehicles… now must be addressed as a matter of urgency. And that means some of that GBP12bn investment promised by the prime minister needs to be put towards skills training.”

See also: Race to launch UK gigafactory accelerates as battery demand skyrockets