Ford Motor Co. said the transition to electric cars will suffer should the UK follow through on delaying a ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars.
(Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. said the transition to electric cars will suffer should the UK follow through on delaying a ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars.
“Our business needs three things from the UK government: ambition, commitment and consistency,” Ford’s UK’s Managing Director Lisa Brankin said Wednesday in a statement. “A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering rolling back some green-energy policies to help consumers weather a cost-of-living crisis. The potential measures, which could include a five year delay to the planned 2030 ban on petrol and diesel car sales, risk pushing off course Britain’s broader plan to reach net-zero by mid-century. Sunak is scheduled to hold a Cabinet meeting on the government’s green agenda later Wednesday.
Read more: Sunak’s Green U-Turn Opens Tory Rifts, Throws Net Zero in Doubt
Britain isn’t alone in reconsidering commitments that emerged from the 2021 COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. The European Union has faced pressure over its commitment to banning sales of new fossil-fuel powered cars by 2035, and earlier this year Germany succeeded in carving out an exemption for synthetic fuels.
The shifting of targets has added to the challenge for carmakers, who’ve put in train massive investments to transition to the new technologies.
Read more: Sunak’s Green Rollback Imperils Britain’s 2050 Net Zero Target
Ford in 2021 announced it would only sell fully electric passenger vehicles in Europe by the end of the decade, followed by the company shedding thousands of jobs from its underperforming auto business in Europe. The US automaker, which operates component factories in the UK, is investing £380 million ($470 million) at its Halewood plant to make EV parts.
“We need the policy focus trained on bolstering the EV market in the short-term and supporting consumers while headwinds are strong,” Brankin said.
Read more: Europe Car Sales Jump 21% as EVs Help Extend Growth Streak
The UK car industry has been struggling to attract meaningful investment in EV making and battery plants, despite recent commitments by Jaguar Land Rover-parent Tata Group and BMW AG to make electric Minis at Oxford.
Jaguar Land Rover said its plans for electrification are on track.
“We welcome certainty around legislation for the end of sale of petrol and diesel-powered cars,” the company said.
–With assistance from Eamon Akil Farhat.
(Updates with Cabinet meeting in third paragraph, additional context throughout)
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