Commenting on Jaguar going all electric within four years, Andrew Aldridge, Partner at Deepbridge Capital, said: “The production and use of electric vehicles (EVs) has and will continue to soar as traditional companies adapt to a global push towards decarbonising the automobile industry. The sector continues to be at the forefront of fascinating and fast-moving technological innovation as the motor industry and the tech giants meet to help make EVs the norm. This includes all aspects across the industry, including but not exclusive to, battery innovation, manufacturing change, material supply chains, development of EV tyres and ancillaries, charging infrastructure and commerce developments. There are however justified concerns around the rapid adoption of electric vehicles in the UK due to the limits on the speed of rolling out the charging infrastructure. There are currently a number of small companies developing and implementing charging infrastructure strategies but there is also a reasonable degree of uncertainty about the future patterns of consumer behaviour which creates a level of risk in these business models.
“One of Deepbridge’s investee companies, Flex-G, is aiming to revolutionise the charging of EVs and create greater battery efficiency through the development of nano-particle technology. Such technology is needed in order to drastically reduce EV charging times and increase battery range, in order that consumers may realistically switch from combustion to electric power. We expect a significant amount of small companies to emerge in the EV space, particularly in the charging infrastructure sector as the world adapts to the widespread use of EVs.”
Dr Steve McCabe, Associate Professor at the Institute for Design and Economic Acceleration, Birmingham City University, welcomed the announcement from JLR chief executive officer Thierry Bolloré, saying the UK’s Midlands must invest in people, research and development to stay at the vanguard of the green revolution in car making.
“Jaguar Land Rover has been somewhat behind the curve on the shift to EV (Electric Vehicle) production, so today’s announcement is welcome. Accordingly, JLR’s intention to pivot to making EVs (Electric Vehicles) at their Solihull factory will come as good news, especially given rumours at least one facility was due to shut and that the UK, and specifically the Midlands, has too lost many big-name manufacturers in recent years in this region to be complacent.
“The march towards a greener future is inevitable. It is to be hoped that every assistance will be given to component makers in the vital supply chain whose products in their current forms may no longer be required by automotive manufacturers.
“Retraining of Birmingham and Midlands workers with skills for the future, along with ensuring research and development of new products stays in the region, is absolutely essential if the historic home of UK car manufacturing is to be at the vanguard of the ‘green revolution’ in car making, a heritage it’s had for the last century. Though there will be challenges ahead, JLR’s announcement will ensure continuity for the Midlands brand with a world-class reputation.”