The seismic shift towards low-carbon vehicles will open up supply chain opportunities worth hundreds of billions of pounds, according to industry experts speaking at the Future of Technology Zone at Cenex LCV 2018.
In the opening seminar from the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s Future of Technology Series, Dave Oude Nijeweme, Head of Technology Trends at APC UK, explained the countless opportunities for supply chains in supporting the growth of the EV and alternative fuel market in the coming years.
By 2030 – within two product cycles – most passenger cars in the EU will have some kind of electric propulsion system, whether they are fully-electric, micro hybrids or plug-in, this is a dramatic increase even in comparison with the boom of the last decade.
An analysis by UBS Bank on the predicted cost of a pure electric vehicle by 2025 revealed that almost 50 per cent came from battery cells, which means huge potential for the associated industries.
While much of the attention was focussed on EVs, the second seminar hosted by APC in the Workshop Dome explored the progress of biofuels and the potential for electro-fuels. Current and even medium-term battery technology remains unsuitable for many HGV and high-energy vehicles applications, and even in 2017 passenger cars, goods vehicles and buses are still the largest consumers of oil in the UK.
Biofuels therefore have a crucial role to play, as Dr Katie Chong, a lecturer in chemical engineering at Aston University, explained to delegates, “We’re seeing an increase in transport energy demands, not just from cars and trucks but also shipping and aviation, so there’s still going to be a pressure from them for liquid fuels.
“We also need these to meet the Paris agreement; we’ve made a commitment to reduce our carbon emissions and in order to do that we have to move towards low-carbon biofuels as well as electrification.”