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The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) has welcomed the UK government’s decision to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel engines to 2030 as part of what the Prime Minister has hailed a ‘green industrial revolution’. The MTI was created specially to fulfil the skills needs of the automotive sector and its core offer is based on emerging technologies including electric vehicles.

Greg Harris, Global Strategy Lead for Electrification at HORIBA MIRA, the MTI’s industry partner, said that the automotive sector was energised by the latest announcement and ready to take on the challenge of moving to an all-electric future over the next decade.

He said, “The automotive industry is already making significant progress towards this deadline with the rollout of electric passenger and commercial vehicles and there is a widespread willingness to embrace this challenging target.

“To meet the objective, manufacturers will need people with the right skills to understand the technology, develop the powertrains and adapt their lines for the new requirements. There will also be high demand through the supply chain for components including electric motors and lithium-ion batteries. Heavy to transport, the shipping duties on battery imports could prove challenging post-Brexit but to offset this, we are likely to benefit from a rise in domestic production through giga factories like those of Envision AESC and Britishvolt.

“As electric vehicle adoption becomes more widespread, the infrastructure challenge will gather pace. Solutions that deliver faster battery charging at filling stations as well as home-charging options will need to be developed. With support from government investment, there is no doubt that this challenge can and will be met.”

Lisa Bingley, MTI Director of Operations said, “This exciting news provides a boost for the automotive industry during what has been a difficult year. The scale of change that is now required and the pace at which this needs to be achieved represents a challenge that can only be met by skilled individuals who are able to engage with, and progress, in the sector. The MTI is perfectly placed to address the skills needs of the industry and, working with our partners in further and higher education, along with our close links to industry, we stand ready to help the UK to reach this demanding goal.”

The news was further reinforced by transport minister Rachel Maclean MP who spoke at the launch of the Cenex-LCV low carbon vehicle event on the day of the announcement. Rachel Maclean said that the UK was already at the forefront of zero emissions and Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) technology and that its ambition to ban petrol and diesel engines earlier than originally planned would give further impetus to industry growth and development.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chair of the MTI Operations Board, and Principal and Chief Executive North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “This announcement represents a turning point for the automotive industry and puts the MTI at the heart of skills development for the green industrial revolution.”