Events > IAA Mobility 2021

IAA Mobility 2021


About UK automotive sector

Welcome to an automotive pioneer

The UK is home to some of the most sophisticated and successful vehicle manufacturers in the world. It is also the ideal location to develop and manufacture future generations of zero emission, lightweight and connected and automated vehicles. The UK offers:

  • A highly competitive economy (World No. 8, World Economic Forum)
  • The most flexible labour force in Europe and the best country in Europe for industry/university co-operation (Automotive Council survey, 2018)
  • Major government investment into automotive (£2 billion plus) with spending priorities guided by the industry.


The UK is concentrating investment into three key areas:


R&D of Innovative Zero-Emission Technologies

The UK’s world-leading automotive ecosystem has world-class expertise in zero-carbon powertrains, batteries, motors and power electronics, backed by substantial government R&D funding. Our global motorsport leadership, with over 80% of the world’s top motorsport engineers and designers, drives innovation that finds its way into mass-market vehicles, and is increasingly focused on zero-emission technologies.

The UK is home to the Advanced Propulsion Centre, a global centre of excellence, with a budget of £1 billion over 10 years. The growing reputation of UK powertrain expertise has attracted major industry players, such as BMW, Bosch and Hofer Powertrain, to develop electrified powertrains in Britain.

The UK is responsible for many of the leading innovations in this area. The first electric supercharger (used on the Audi SQ7) was designed and developed in the UK, and British companies are developing new types of powertrains, including micro-turbines for range extender hybrids and low-cost fuel cells.

The UK is a leading innovator in the lightweight technologies needed for battery-powered vehicles. We developed the first carbon-fibre composites for Formula 1, developing this expertise for low/medium volume production (e.g. the new facility built by McLaren to produce up to 10,000 bodyshells per year) and extending this knowledge into high volume composites manufacturing.

The UK has a great deal of expertise in aluminium technology, being home to Jaguar Land Rover, the world’s most aluminium-intensive car manufacturer.

Britain also discovered graphene, which will become an important way of strengthening materials while minimising weight, and which offers intriguing possibilities for electrification.


Building the UK Zero-Emission Vehicle Supply Chain

The UK is determined to lead the world in the development, manufacture and deployment of zero-emission vehicles. With the phase-out of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030, the UK will continue to be one of the largest markets for electric vehicles over the coming decade (the UK was the 3rd-largest European market for electrically chargeable vehicles in 2020).

UK Government and industry are together leading development of electric vehicle technology, providing excellent business and investment opportunities. The government is driving the ambition with a host of initiatives including:

  • The £500m Automotive Transformation Fund, equipping UK supply chains for large-scale EV production and expanding electrification R&D and.
  • The £318m Faraday Battery Challenge, keeping the UK at the forefront of research, innovation and scaling-up of new battery technologies.
  • £80 million for the “Driving the Electric Revolution” programme.
  • The £400m Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund.
  •  £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles.


A series of highly significant recent investments (July 2021) from global OEMs show the UK is already leading the way to a zero-emission future:

  • Nissan and Envision-AESC have announced a £1bn investment to create an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing hub. This manufacturing hub will be the site of the UK’s first large-scale Gigafactory and the site will see a projected 100,000 battery-electric cars produced each year by Nissan from 2024.
  • Stellantis announced a £100m investment in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant to transform the site for a new era in electric vehicle manufacturing. Ellesmere Port will become the first Stellantis plant in the world to produce a solely battery-electric model, in both commercial and passenger versions.


Connected and Automated Vehicles

The UK has one of the most flexible regulatory environments for the deployment of CAVs in the world. CAVs are permitted on any UK road, providing that they follow the industry’s own code of practice, and that the vehicles have public liability insurance. The UK has passed the world’s first CAV insurance legislation, setting out procedures to be followed in the case of accidents.

The UK consistently ranks as the leading major European country in international surveys of CAV readiness (UN. WEF, KPMG, etc.)

The UK government has enabled joint public and private investments of £400 million into connected and automated vehicle innovation. As part of this, the UK government has jointly invested £200m in testing infrastructure to create a world-leading CAV testing ecosystem in the UK, known as CAM Testbed UK, with investments from Japan, Germany, Spain, and France.

CAM Testbed UK consists of six new facilities forming a globally unique cluster located within three hours of each other to provide comprehensive, world-class testing capabilities across virtual, controlled, and public environments. The UK government has supported over 90 collaborative R&D projects, involving over 200 organisations, with a total portfolio worth £240m.