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Hybrids will still be required if Government bans ICE cars in 2035, says Ford boss

Graham Hoare, chairman of Ford of Britain

Hybrid cars, including mild-hybrid and plug-in, will be required if the Government is going to achieve it’s ambition of banning the sale of Internal Combustion Engine cars by 2035, says Ford of Britain chairman Graham Hoare.

Speaking at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' (SMMT) International Automotive Summit Live 2020 online event, yesterday (June 23), Hoare said: “Given the size and scale of what we want to achieve in the UK, we will not see a shift from the internal combustion engine to all-electric vehicles in a single jump.

"Customer confidence is not ready for leap yet, and the cost gap between petrol or diesel and all-electric vehicles is still significant.

“This is why a range of bridging technologies from mild hybrids through to plug-in hybrids are essential, and why plug-in hybrids also should be considered as a viable technology well into the 2030s.”

He said there needs to be a joined-up, clear and consistent long-term, government-partnered strategy if the UK Government is to meet its target of only allowing the sale of zero emissions new vehicles in the 2030s timeframe.

The Partnership needs to include all key stakeholders - including UK and devolved governments and local authorities, vehicle manufacturers, energy providers and customers – if it is to be successful, according to Hoare.

“A successful future for the auto industry is dependent on achieving our longer-term objective of a zero emissions future – that is definitely the path we are on at Ford.

“However, we should be under no illusion that reaching this goal will require an unparalleled level of commitment and cooperation by a range of different stakeholders – government departments, local authorities, the auto industry, energy providers, and customers.

“We need government to partner with us and have joint equity in formulating and delivering a comprehensive and consistent strategy that encompasses all stakeholders and that provides a path to the future – a path that also encompasses a range of technologies, including mild hybrids, hybrids and plug-in hybrids on the route to zero emissions,” Hoare said.

He outlined the key considerations for a strategy in the UK, which includes; incentives, both for purchase and usage; a ‘quantum leap’ in infrastructure; a decision on what technologies will provide the required electrical power for charging; and a breadth of vehicles in the required volumes to meet consumer needs.

Hoare added: “We’ve seen recently at Ford what can be achieved when different stakeholders come together with a common purpose, namely working in partnership with a wide range of different partners in the VentilatorChallengeUK building ventilators for the NHS.

“We need a similar spirit of endeavour if we are to meet the electrification challenge – not a ‘can do’ attitude but a ‘will do’ determination. But time is short, and we must start today because tomorrow will be too late.”

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