PA's Tim Lawrence, global head of manufacturing, is quoted in an article in The Times about Jaguar Land Rover’s plans to build electric cars in the West Midlands and create thousands of jobs.
The article explains that Jaguar Land Rover wants half of its cars to be available in an electric version by 2020.
Tim explains that the recent launch of the Jaguar I-Pace is a step in the right direction but that the government needed to foster more co-ordinated effort if British carmakers were to compete internationally on electric vehicles.
Tim goes on to say that it would mean better links between academic research and industry. However Tim says that one of the problems the industry faces is not having a consumer electronics sector to capitalise on cars becoming increasingly sophisticated.
“The car is becoming much more of an electronic product”, says Tim. “It’s a software product. It’s no longer about powertrains, body and aerodynamics and more about connectivity and electric powertrains. The UK has managed to let go most of its consumer electronics.”
He goes on to say that Jaguar was not one of the carmakers whose long-term presence in the UK was considered doubtful outside the EU.
Tim concludes: “We saw a much higher risk with the Japanese plants, where they didn’t have the same level of R&D investments in relation to product development in future cars in the UK. Jaguar Land Rover in effect is a UK business and the R&D capability is based in the UK.”