According to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK car production declined 19.2 percent in the first six months of the year. Meanwhile, electric vehicles (EVs) faired far better and production increased by 6.5 percent during this period.
Production of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) has again proven to be a bright spot for the sector, with 32,282 units produced in the first half of the year. This was bolstered by an impressive 44.2 percent rise during June resulting in a record output of zero emission vehicles for the month.
The output of hybrid, petrol and diesel cars all declined by 19.9 percent, 8.0 percent and 60.2 percent respectively in the first half of the year. These figures confirm that the future of diesel cars must be numbered. Meanwhile, during the first six months of the year, the electric vehicle sector saw record levels of investment with £3.4 billion committed to the UK’s zero emissions future.
Despite car production decreasing overall this year, significant investment into the UK industry is being made, with more than £3.4 billion announced so far in 2022, primarily for electric vehicle production and supply chains. This investment will provide a significant boost to the UK and local economies, creating and safeguarding jobs in a sector that is pivotal to the UK’s net zero goal.
The announcement of Britishvolt’s gigafactory in Blythe and the AMTE Power MegaFactory in Dundee this year are evidence that investment in the electric vehicle industry and its supply chain is happening now. Along with Nissan’s £1 billion EV36Zero electric vehicle hub in Sunderland, Stellantis’ £100 million investment in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port and Ford’s £230 million investment at its Halewood Plant is all positive news for the future of the British car industry and its zero emissions future.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “Car manufacturers have been suffering from a ‘long Covid’ for much of 2022, as global component shortages undermine production and put supply chains under extreme pressure. Key model changeovers and the closure of a major plant last year have also impacted output but there are grounds for optimism with rising output over the last two months.
As these issues recede over the next year or two, investment in new technologies and processes will be essential but this will depend on our underlying competitiveness. Sky-high energy costs, non-competitive business rates and skills shortages must all be addressed if we are to build on our inherent strengths and seize the opportunities presented by the dash for decarbonised mobility.”