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Monday, December 6, 2021

Ford: 2035 combustion ban unfeasible without PHEVs

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The government’s touted timeframe of 2035 to ban sales of new ICE-only cars is unrealistic unless significant support comes into play, Ford UK chairman Graham Hoare has predicted.

“I don’t see a future at 2035 without some application of plug-in hybrids, but many vehicles types could comfortably move towards full electrification by then,” Hoare said. He called for a “clear and consistent path to bring change about”.

“There’s no silver bullet. There’s no single solution that caters for the bandwidth of vehicles that are on Britain’s roads today, both cars and CVs [commercial vehicles]. We need to think as an industry in partnership with government. We need to unite together to create that consistency of purpose between industry, government, energy providers and consumers to embrace the challenge.”

Hoare referenced Norway’s approach to building confidence with consumers through infrastructure and economic support, noting that it has taken consistency more than three decades to achieve the 70% market share for EVs seen there today.

Hoare added that the UK isn’t yet ready for net-zero emissions in 2035. “The embryonics of those components required are in our grasp, but it takes that unity to synchronise our activities,” he said.

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“It will take a broad range of incentives, both at the point of sale but also during the usage of vehicle, so they become attractive and to support the government’s ambition of the 2035 timeframe. We’ve got to think carefully about a long-range programme of incentivisation. We need short-term goals to allow for long-term achievements.”

Hoare said that hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles would need to be in play to address the full range of vehicles, stating that hydrogen has a clear role in heavy-duty transport and the largest car models.

“The hydrogen pathway is one to watch, driven by the heavy-goods vehicle industry,” he said. “Hydrogen could be an opportunity but very cost-sensitive. Therefore it will require a huge amount of innovation to make it affordable, but I do see great progress from energy providers and technologists.”

Ford of Europe president Stuart Rowley has previously told Autocar that talk of engine bans was “not helpful” and that best progress would be made if participants in negotiations were “positive and not adversarial”.


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