Ford urges action to help the change to driving electric in the UK

Ford is calling on policymakers, energy providers, local authorities, consumers and the auto industry to join forces on a nationwide electrification strategy that will set the country on the right trajectory for 2030.

Since February, Ford has announced significant investments across Europe as it goes all-in on electrification. Ford have committed its entire passenger vehicle range to being all-electric by 2030 and to the majority of the sales of its commercial vehicles being all-electric or plug-in hybrid in the same timeframe.

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But the company says that individual actions are not enough. Ford says that a coordinated effort is needed to help consumers move to an electrified future.

Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe, said: “At Ford, we’re putting our plan into action. In the UK, the electrification transition is underway, but we will not achieve the government’s 2030 target organically.

“We need a plan, supporting the rollout of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, in operation ahead of November’s critical COP26 climate summit,”

The scale of this challenge requires a partnership between all the key stakeholders. This includes the government, auto industry, energy providers, local authorities and consumers.

Rowley added: “It also should encourage consumers to purchase all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles through stronger incentives.”  

Ford’s announcement comes as the first in its series of quarterly consumer sentiment reports called Go Electric. It reveals a widespread lack of awareness and hesitancy towards electrified vehicles and their ecosystems among much of the UK population.

The report shows appetite for electric vehicles is increasing and it found 28 percent of respondents said they plan to buy an electric vehicle within the next five years. This means a substantial proportion of drivers still have reservations.

It also found more than one in five drives say they have no intention of buying an electric vehicle. A further fifth said they would not buy an electric vehicle until they have no other option.

Ford’s research also suggests that consumer acceptance is a key obstacle to overcome, with the Go Electric report pointing to an apparent lack of information around electric vehicle technology. The report also found 61 percent of drivers surveyed for the report said they did not feel they have enough information to make an informed decision on purchasing an electric vehicle.

When asked how confident drivers were about electric vehicle technology, more than half said they did not know the difference between electrified vehicle types. The report also found four out of five said they would not be comfortable explaining electric vehicles to a friend.

As part of the new Go Electric report, Ford outlined four key action points that the UK needs to address. Firstly, there needs to be a comprehensive roadmap action plan led by the government and agreed by all the relevant stakeholders with how and when things will happen.

Secondly, charging infrastructure needs to be accessible for all, and thirdly, there needs to be incentivisation for both purchase and usage to encourage the switch to clean driving. Finally, there needs to be more information to consumers from all the stakeholders helping to instil confidence in the new technologies.

It’s great to have a big motor company like Ford backing the electric revolution in such a huge way and pointing out that so much more needs to be done. Plus, how important is that everyone works together to make this happen. Hopefully, more places like the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in Milton Keynes will open to help inform drivers about zero-emissions driving.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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