Vauxhall Motors mulls EV battery production as UK brings forward petrol cars ban

by John Shepherd
Vauxhall Motors and Opel Ireland MD Stephen Norman. Photo: Vauxhall
Vauxhall Motors could be in the vanguard of companies launching battery gigafactories in the UK, a top executive of the company said today.

Stephen Norman, MD of Vauxhall Motors and Opel Ireland, said it was imperative the UK stepped up battery production for electric vehicles, as part of national efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and combat climate change.

Norman’s comments came as Boris Johnson, the prime minister, confirmed the UK would end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 – 10 years earlier than planned.

Norman told broadcaster Sky News "there is no reason" why Vauxhall, part of the French multinational Groupe PSA, would not join companies building batteries in the UK.

'Key issue'

In terms of the logistics of setting up a battery gigafactory, Norman said: "It’s not a long job to get spades in the ground, once you have settled on the technology that you want to use for battery production.”

But Norman said a "key issue” would be to ensure "free and fair competition with markets” beyond the UK.

Boris Johnson said today the UK car industry already manufactures "a significant proportion of electric vehicles in Europe”.

The prime minister pledged £1.3bn "to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways across England, so people can more easily and conveniently charge their cars”.

"However, we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035,” Johnson said.

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