The Labour party has set its vision for a ‘Labour Government’ to include promoting widespread uptake of electric vehicles in the U.K. Labour, the main opposition party has stated that under a ‘Labour Government’ up to £60bn will be provided over five years in the form of ‘interest-free’ loans for electric cars. The vision for electric cars is part of the broader ‘green industrial revolution’ for the the U.K.
Furthermore, the Labour party is set to make further announcements at its annual party conference this week, to include an investment of up to £5.8 billion into the automotive sector to accelerate the shift towards zero-emission road transportation.
We certainly applaud any effort that will ‘ease’ the financial burden of electric vehicle ownership in the U.K. Pricing has been a key issue in relation to the adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the U.K.
However, the recent announcements of new all-electric models by automotive manufacturers suggest greater ‘affordability’ of EVs. We expect this trend to continue as the electric vehicle industry further develops. Having said that, any support from the government, in addition to the current plug-in car grant (PiCG) incentive will assist in increasing the uptake of EVs.
Researchers at Dalhousie University have published a paper in the ‘Journal of the Electrochemical Society’ that describes a lithium-ion battery that can achieve a million miles. The research has been funded by the co-founder of Tesla Inc., Elon Musk. Earlier this year, Mr. Musk has suggested that Tesla electric cars will have batteries that will last a million miles.
Mr. Musk continues to find ways to make mass adoption of electric cars a reality. In many way, he alone has done more than many of the largest governments in the world, to make zero-emission road transportation a reality. Certainly, an increased ‘battery life’ is important. This is not only for its use in electric cars, but also the recycling of EV batteries for other areas to include battery storage. The more the EV batteries the lower the ‘life cycle carbon footprint’.
Canoo, a California based start-up has revealed a ‘subscription only’ electric mobility concept. The futuristic looking all-electric car is based on the ‘Bauhaus’ philosophy of ‘minimalism and functionality’ and is a cross between a van and a car. The electric car company describes the electric vehicle as ‘post-SUV’. According to Canoo’s acting chief executive, Ulrich Kranz “because it offers a commanding seating position, like an SUV, and pretty much the same space as a large SUV but on a way smaller footprint”.
We have not had the opportunity to study this EV start-up in detail. However, at initial glance, they are correct to focus on ‘functionality’. We believe, in due course, mobility will become less personal and more generic in form. Mobility design will be influenced substantially in due course by the changing mode of ‘ownership’ of cars. We envision most households will not own a car, but instead use ‘car sharing formats’ of different types for their transportation needs. Canoo is also right to focus on a ‘subscription only’ model, as the future of car ownership will be based on similar business models.
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