COP-26 Stance on the Automotive Industry

COP-26 is sure to be the moment when the world moves from ambition to action. Although this year’s conference is ascertained to deeply inspire the renewable energy industry, its focus must not inspire an ignorance to overlook the importance of climate change in an innumerable amount of varying industries – namely the automotive.

Currently, road transport accounts for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and in the pursuit of saving the Arctic ice, the automotive industry will soon be forced to abandon the use of the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). In favour of a seamless transition to EVs, COP26 has only further adhered to their cornucopian fix to climate change by placing specific emphasis upon the challenge of extracting as much energy and power from a lithium-ion battery cell as possible.

Yet, how can we justly battle the contagion of centuries-ago technological developments, with further technological developments?

With little discourse on the promotion of public transport, walking and cycling, COP26 has depicted our governments as being increasingly forgetful of the fundamental societal changes essential to maximising the efficacy of high-tech advancements throughout our industries; for at the summit of all things green transport, a portable suitcase charger for EVs was unveiled as a conceited solution for a lack of cycling infrastructure. It seems our leaders truly are in the thrall of technology fetishism.

To look through the lens of optimism, however, is to understand the implications of the conference upon the automotive industry to be immense. Specifically, when considering the ambitions of COP26 – that is, for all new car and van sales to be zero emission vehicles by 2035 in advanced markets – then racing cars around in circles for fun has just become all the more critical.

With 1 in 12 cars an electric vehicle, and an assumed 11 in 12 people experiencing range anxiety, motorsport has a significant role to play in advancing technology, and reducing carbon waste through mobility.

In the past, Formula 1 has gifted road cars the addition of traction control and lightweight parts. Now, the Formula E, through its extreme duty cycle, is attempting to draw as much power as possible from any given battery – motorsport has indeed become a ‘giant testbed’ for road application says Sylvian Filippi, the man in charge of Envision Virgin Racing.

Since 2014 - a time in which Formula E drivers would jump from car to car when the battery ran flat – energy density within a battery has been subject to huge technological advances, and the overall threshold only continues to increase.

However, although the Formula E is most certainly electric, is it actually green, or just a green-wash? Is the net environmental gain of the series one to be proud of?

Perhaps, merely a technology demonstration series expressly aimed at accelerating the pace of development of electric vehicles, it is void of any attempt to tackle the totality of environmental consequences surrounding motorsport. For the sustainability of the sport extends far beyond the exhausts of our favourite drivers.

Manager of Mane Automotive, Christian Pascale, believes that it is not the Formula-E, but the Formula 1 ‘we need to keep an eye out for.’ With the automotive industry ‘already at the forefront of climate change,’ he makes clear that with the likes of prototype racing, it is the F1 whom are striving to create a 100% sustainable fuel by 2025.’ There is little doubt in that in the years to come, ‘automotive car manufacturers and suppliers will again adopt these fuel methods to continue to make our world greener and safer.’

Subsequently, there will be an expected rise in significant job opportunities in the motoring industry. The Faraday Institution, a British research facility developing battery science and technology, estimates that in the UK, by 2030, 50,000 vehicle technicians will need upskilling or replacing, with an extra 15,000 experts to be employed in battery cell manufacturing.

Moreover, research by the Boston Consulting Group has predicted that the EV shift will demand 400,000 construction man-years until the year 2030, with 65% of those hours invested in battery manufacturing, and the remainder divided equally between energy productions and charging infrastructure. Overall, the research estimates that the electromobility ecosystem will generate a staggering 581,000 new jobs.

In sum, the outcomes of COP-26 thus far have huge implications for Mane in its 29th year of specialist technical and engineering recruitment. With no time to stall, our governments have made a big case for EVs this COP, and based in the UK, Mane Automotive are committed to working with candidate partners to help create a greener and cleaner future.

By leveraging their expertise, Mane is certain it can find candidates their perfect placement in a market driven by its workers. To find out more, and to keep up to date with new opportunities within the sector, be sure to follow Mane on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and to follow the Mane Automotive twitter account.

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For further details contact – Christian Pascale, Head of Mane Automotive. c.pascale@mane.co.uk  +44 (0)1923 470 752