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The UK needs to set a binding target for building battery factories and install millions more charging points for electric cars, the industry says. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says ambitious policies over the next decade could create up to 40,000 high-skilled jobs.

However, it warns failure to act could be catastrophic for the car sector. SMMT fears the potential loss of around 90,000 posts and deteriorating regional inequalities across the country.

The SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes, stated that without the right backing, UK businesses would become “consumers not producers, spectators not innovators… lead and we succeed, follow and we fail”.

Mr Hawes added that under current plans the UK will have 12 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery production by 2025, whereas Germany will have 164GWh. Therefore, in order to meet the UK’s emission targets, more gigafactories are need to help create more battery production.

This morning, Nissan announced a major expansion of electric vehicle production at its car plant in Sunderland which will create 1,650 new jobs. The Japanese carmaker says it will build its new-generation all-electric model at the site. The new electric vehicle hub, launched with £1bn worth of investment, will also support thousands of jobs in the UK supply chain. Of that £1bn, Nissan said it would invest up to £423m to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK, building on the success of its existing electric car, the Leaf.

UK’s Ultra-Rapid EV Charging Stock To Triple With New £300m Funding Package

The UK’s energy networks have jointly pledged a further £300m in funding for low-carbon technologies across 200 projects, including almost 1,800 new ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargers.

statement from Ofgem last month revealed that the regulator is working with seven of the UK’s largest gas and electricity networks to raise and allocate the new funding, which builds on the £40bn of investment already confirmed for infrastructure and technologies this financial year.

More than 200 projects will be supported by the funding, including low-carbon heat networks; hydrogen heating trials; biofuel for HGVs and charging infrastructure for electric planes, air taxis and drones.

Government Support Needed To Achieve Net-Zero Emissions

The SMMT’s report, meanwhile, makes several other recommendations. It says there is a need for at least 2.3 million new charging points to be set up around the country by 2030.

This would, it suggests “ensure that all drivers – especially those without driveways – have the confidence to invest in the latest low emission technologies, investment that will not just support a healthy domestic market, but which will underpin mass market automotive manufacturing in the UK”.

It also calls for the introduction of a “build back better fund” from the government to support manufacturing jobs and reduce costs, a commitment to developing and deploying connected and automated vehicle technology and a review of taxes affecting the sector.

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