Prime minister Theresa May has confirmed that Jaguar Land Rover will receive a £500m loan guarantee from government export credit agency UK Export Finance to support the design and manufacture of the company’s next generation of electric vehicles and its export activities.
The commitment came as the prime minister chaired a roundtable meeting at Downing Street aiming for the UK to stay at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Speaking at the meeting attended by chief executives, senior leaders and experts in the car and energy industries, she emphasised that this can only be done through a strong partnership between the industry and government.
The representatives discussed with the prime minister that as well as having long-term consistent incentives and the right charging infrastructure in place to drive up demand for electric vehicles, the UK should build on its strengths in the development of next generation battery technology.
Attendees also agreed to establish a Green Mobility Transition Board, which for the first time will formally bring together government, industry and environmental groups to coordinate efforts to speed up the adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles and make progress on tackling climate change and improving air quality. The prime minister also set out a number of new commitments aimed at making electric vehicles more convenient, including:
• a consultation on making England the first place in the world where every new-build home will be fitted with an electric car chargepoint;
• bringing forward plans to regulate chargepoints so that they use ‘smart’ technology which will send signals to electric vehicles to charge them at different times of the day, encouraging off-peak charging to keep costs down for consumers and helping prepare the energy system for mass uptake of electric vehicles; and
• all new rapid and higher powered chargepoints to provide ‘pay as you go’ debit or credit card payment options by spring 2020 – ending the current wide variety of payment systems which is a source of frustration for drivers.