Smart Transport

Government should appoint ‘Minister for Electrification’, says Ford

Ford of Britain is calling on the Government to establish a new ministerial position to drive forward the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) strategy.

Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director said that while the move to electrification is gathering pace, there was “no mistaking that this is a huge task ahead of us that will require fundamental efforts to ensure consumers are taken on the journey”.

He said: “A range of stakeholders – including national and local government, energy providers and vehicle manufacturers – need to come together with a unified goal if we are to meet the electrification challenge.

“Given the size and scale of what we want to achieve in the UK, we need to kick-start this process.

“A fast start could include the creation of a specific senior role in government to help coordinate a comprehensive electrification strategy for the UK – a ‘Minister for Electrification’ who can work cross-functionally across government and with the various stakeholders.”

Nearly half of not ready for EV switch

New research commissioned by Ford as part of their UK-wide consumer education roadshow, Go Electric, found that nearly half (46%) of Brits said they don’t intend to buy an EV in future, while a fifth (21%) said they were unlikely to consider one in the next five years.

A further fifth (20%) said they will likely only purchase in the next three-to-five years.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) recently compiled analysis with the help of Frost & Sullivan revealed that spending of at least £16.7 billion was required to get the UK’s public charging network ready for mass EV market, with 507 new charge points needed every day to 2035 to drive buyer confidence.

Barratt said that the first step to driving EV adoption in the UK – considering the absence of Government buyer incentives – would be a push to increase consumers’ understanding of what their options are.

He said: “Our roadshow will help demystify electrified vehicle options for all of our customers and give them all they need to make the right choice to fit their lives.”

The Ford Go Electric Roadshow Ford aims to demystify the questions people have about switching to electrified vehicles and address consumer concerns around hybrid and electric vehicles.

The interactive experience is designed to teach consumers more about CO2 emissions, the future of local Clean Air Zones, vehicle charging methods and finding the right vehicle for their lifestyle. 

Travelling the country in a custom-built HGV the roadshow’s first stop will be Nottingham.

Ford’ recent car buyer study found that the reasons for consumer hesitance to electrified vehicles are mixed, with range anxiety (37%), apparent lack of affordability (53%) and worries about where to charge (51%) being cited as critical deterrents.

But the survey also reveals that there is widespread confusion around the technology itself: only two-thirds (64%) correctly identified that an electric car electric is a vehicle that has one or more electric motors.

Three-quarters said they are not confident in the difference between hybrid and battery electric cars, while nearly half (43%) say they don’t know enough about the technology to consider purchasing an electric or electrified vehicle. 

In addition, 29% don’t think the average person is ready to change to battery electric vehicles.

Barratt acknowledged that Ford had a role to play in educating potential EV customers. He added: “Ford has always sought to democratise vehicles and technologies and now we intend to do the same for electrification.”

The Smart Transport October 2020 Conference - 'Connecting policy to solutions'

More speakers have been confirmed for the Virtual Smart Transport Conference

Our inspirational speaker line-up of over 45 speakers recognise that only through genuine public private sector collaboration will effective change be realised. Collectively conference speakers will focus on “Connecting Policy to Solutions” in order to deliver a digitalised, decarbonised, integrated, multi-model transport future for all.

Smart Transport’s free autumn conference is being held in association with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and will be held virtually across October 20, 21 and 22 to help showcase solutions to central and local government transport policy in the fast moving UK transport sector.

Our speaker line-up

Andy Burnham - Mayor, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Anthony Smith - Chief Executive, Transport Focus
Beate Kubitz - Director of Policy and Communications, Future Mobility Research
Ben Lawson - VP Strategy Europe, Enterprise Holdings
Bob Moran - Deputy Director Head of Environmental Strategy, DfT
Bridget Rosewell CBE - Chairman, M6 toll & DVSA
Carl Bayliss - VP Mobility & Home Energy, Centrica
Chris Morris - Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Sustainable Ventures
Chris Sibthorpe - Regional Director Manchester, PJA
Claire Haigh - CEO, Greener Journeys
Connor Chaplin - Innovation, Research & Insight Officer, TfGM
Daniel Ruiz - CEO, Zenzic
David Elvy - Head of Future Freight Strategy, DfT
David Savage - Regional Manager, Geotab
David Waterhouse - Head of Infrastructure, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
Dominic Smith - Senior Transport Strategy Officer, Cycling & Walking, TfGM
Dr Lucy Mahoney - Network Manager, Walking and Cycling, C40
Ed Clarke - Managing Director UK & Nordics Road Network, FedEx Express
George Lunt - Technical Director, AECOM
Gordon Young - Head of Vehicle Finance, Macquarie Bank
Greg Marsden - Professor of Transport Governance, University of Leeds
Ian Forbes - Head of CCAV, DfT
Jason Simpson - Founder & Board Director, Liberty Charge
Kim Sawyer - CEO, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
Laurence Drake - Managing Director, DAF
Lee Kidger - Managing Director, Raleigh
Lindsay Humblett - Partner, Planit-IE LLP
Liz Hunter - Head of Transport Policy, West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Mark Dickens - Director, Groupe Renault
Martin Howell - Director, Transport Markets, UK & Ireland, Worldline
Martin Tugwell - Programme Director, England’s Economic Heartland
Dr Mike Short CBE - Chief Scientific Advisor, Department for International Trade
Prof Nick Reed - Founder, Reed Mobility
Nicola Kane - Head of Strategic Planning, Insight & Innovation, TfGM
Oliver Johnson - UK Head of Sales, ABB
Polly Billington - Director, UK100
Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, DfT
Rafael Cuesta - Transport Consultant, RCC Ltd
Richard Dilks - Chief Executive, COMO UK
Sam Li - Senior Innovation Officer, TfGM
Sarah Kumeta - Senior Innovation Officer, TfGM
Shane Fitzpatrick - Director of Integrated Transport (Interim), Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
Simon Warburton - Transport Strategy Director, TfGM
Stephen Bellamy - Interim Head of Commercial, Tyne & Wear
Stephen Briers - Editor-in-Chief, Bauer Media

Smart Transport editor-in-chief Stephen Briers said: "Coronavirus may have temporarily stopped live events this year, but we have a fantastic alternative for you with our virtual conference.

"The seminars will be just as engaging and insightful, and our speakers will be among the best experts in their fields. From the most influential policymakers to the most innovative products and services, the show will be packed with great content.

"Our virtual platform is simply stunning: It looks amazing and is really easy to use, replicating all the features that make the 'real' conference such a must-attend event, with networking, Q&As, polls and interactive chats." 

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