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The UK government has entered into an investment agreement with the country’s automobile industry that is intended to turn Britain into a world leader for low carbon transport, passing America, Europe, and Asia.
On Friday 12th July 2013 the British government pledged to invest 50% of a £1 billion plan to create an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) that will work to bring low-carbon vehicle technologies to the market. 27 companies from the auto industry have agreed to fund the other £500 million.
The government believes that this investment will help create 30,000 jobs, massively boosting the country’s flagging economy, and turn them into the global low-carbon transport leader within ten years. The Automotive Council has said that it will work to match skilled workers with the new jobs becoming available, taking on more than 7,600 skilled apprentices and 1,700 graduates over the next five years.
Operator at a car manufacturing plant in the UK. (next greencar)
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The APC is just part of a larger ‘Driving Success’ sustainability strategy that aims to boost production in the UK auto industry, and improve focus on low emission vehicles, in preparation for the imminent boom in global demand for low-carbon cars, that they have predicted will be driven by high gasoline prices and a greater awareness of the environmental impact of emissions.
In the past two years the UK has already invested £6 billion in its automobile industry, transforming the country into one of the largest manufacturers in Europe, making over 1.58 million cars in 2012, and exporting 80% of them to more than 100 countries around the world.
The government estimates that by 2040 none of the new cars in Europe will be 100% reliant on gasoline or diesel, but will use a hybrid system, creating a £3 billion market.
Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, stated that “the UK automotive sector has been incredibly successful in recent times, with billions of pounds of investment and new jobs. This has been achieved by government and industry working together.
Our industrial strategy will ensure we keep on working to make our automotive industry a world leader.”
Unlike most countries, the UK has decided not just to fund research into low-carbon vehicles, but actually create an entire industry around the idea.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com