Wednesday 24 March 2021 / 10:30 PM Business / Climate Change / Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband calls for an electric vehicle revolution for every part of the country to boost car manufacturing industry and create jobs

Ed Miliband calls for an electric vehicle revolution for every part of the country to boost car manufacturing industry and create jobs 

In a speech today (Thursday) Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband will call for an ‘electric vehicle revolution’ in every part of the country, setting out ambitious proposals to back Britain’s car manufacturers, create jobs, and make owning a zero emission vehicle an option for all.

Miliband will set out Labour’s plan to secure the industry’s future, boost employment, and support people across the country to make the switch to electric:

  • Back automotive manufacturers and create jobs by part-financing the creation of three new, additional gigafactories by 2025, providing greater security for the sector and shoring up Britain’s global leadership in the electric vehicle market
  • Make electric vehicle ownership affordable by offering interest-free loans for new and used electric vehicles to those on low to middle incomes to remove the upfront cost barrier; and trialling a national scrappage scheme
  • Make it easier for people to drive an electric vehicle, wherever they live, by accelerating the roll-out of charging points on streets and targeting areas left out like Yorkshire, the North West and the West Midlands

He will set out how critical constructing gigafactories is for the future of our automotive sector, especially in light of the trade deal with the EU, because we need a strong domestic battery supply chain to remain competitive and to build on our position as a leading electric vehicle producer and to sell to the world.

Crucially, Labour’s policies would ensure that everyone in the country can benefit from the electric vehicle revolution, rather than bake in unfairness. Low-income families are often priced out of electric vehicle ownership, with people in the South East four times more likely to own an electric car than people in the North East. Figures show that charging points are unevenly distributed with Yorkshire, the North West and West Midlands having far fewer charging points.

In his speech from Labour Party headquarters, Miliband will lay out Labour’s vision for a green economic recovery with fairness at its heart. He will criticise the Government’s lack of ambition and delivery, including its failure to bring forward a green stimulus instead relying on an under-powered National Infrastructure Bank, and its decision to scrap the industrial strategy.

Ed Miliband MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary said:

“To back the car industry and create jobs, Labour would bring forward ambitious proposals to spark an electric vehicle revolution in every part of the country.

“By extending the option to buy an electric car to those on lower incomes and accelerating the roll-out of charging points in regions that have been left out, we would ensure that everyone could benefit – rather than bake in unfairness.

“And we would invest in securing the industry’s future. While it’s right that government has said the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will end, it’s wrong it is imposing a massive transition on our manufacturers from Whitehall then washing its hands of responsibility.

“It’s not fair, it will damage our manufacturers, and it will mean losing out on the chance to be the world-leader in the electric vehicle market. Labour would back our manufacturers and the communities with proud histories in the industry, but the Government is asleep at the wheel.”

And in his speech he is expected to say:

“This green transformation could make us a fairer country; creating good, secure jobs wherever people live; cleaning up the air we breathe and tackling air pollution; protecting nature and giving people access to the green spaces we have all valued so much during lockdown.

Ensuring everyone has a warm home with affordable energy bills and helping to tackle the deep inequalities we face between our regions. 

For Labour, this is the absolutely central mission we face when it comes to the climate emergency. 

What we cannot do is put a green coat of paint on our unequal, insecure economy.  

Every worker whose job might change, every consumer who may face a change, has got to be at the centre of our concerns.  

This is the DNA of Labour: Green and fair. Green and red together.”