12 Jul 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

Government invests £9 million in EV tech while infrastructure still “lagging behind”

EV charging infrastructure investment is still not enough, the Government has been reminded, following a recent further investment in vehicle tech development.

Following other recent investments, £9 million has recently been provided by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to develop Aston Martin’s EV technology, with a view to enabling the company to develop a luxury battery EV platform.

Commenting on the investment, Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “The Government is backing our automotive sector, as can be seen with our recent APC award to Aston Martin and others, to ensure we secure high-quality jobs and investment across the UK and develop a resilient and prosperous car industry for the future.”

Michael Straughan, Executive Consultant to Aston Martin’s CEO added: Maintaining a competitive business environment to stimulate growth and productivity is critical to the future of UK manufacturing and we will take decisive action to ensure future investment in zero emission vehicle manufacturing. We already have a proven track record of backing UK automotive, including a longstanding and comprehensive programme of support featuring the ATF, the APC, Faraday Battery Challenge and Driving the Electric Revolution. “

Since its foundation in 2013, The APC, through Government, has funded 261 low-carbon projects, which the Government said helped to safeguard over 58,000 jobs in the UK.

However, according to Andy Morton, VP, Head of Solutions, Automotive at NTT DATA UK&I, a wider view and investment in infrastructure is vital: “Transforming the automotive industry is not just about swapping combustion engines for electric motors; It requires us to think more broadly. Government funding is a positive signal of intent, but it’s important to remember that this journey isn’t just about how efficiently manufacturers can engineer away carbon emissions.

“Funding will be required to support the wider eco-system and address today’s very real challenges of EV car ownership. This includes the UK charging infrastructure that is lagging demand and the shortage of skilled EV technicians, making aftermarket servicing more of a challenge. Supporting local job creation is a good first step – but scaling this nationally takes grassroots support at every level, in every school, university, and research institution.”

Andy added: “The ATF will be vital in unlocking investment in an internationally competitive EV supply chain. As we move towards Net Zero, every cog in the auto industry machine has a part to play. From global tech innovators to local infrastructure owners, we’re all connected. It’s only through a unified, collaborative effort that we can truly drive change and make a sustainable, net-zero future a reality.”