Industry responds to Queen’s speech

The automotive industry has responded to the Queen’s speech in which she referenced areas pertinent vital to the sector, namely electric vehicles and insurance premiums.

In the speech, the Queen said that legislation will be introduced to ensure the UK remains a world leader in new industries, including electric cars. She also stated that legislation will also be introduced to modernise the courts system and to help reduce motor insurance premiums.

Responding to the speech, Jason Moseley, director of The National Body Repair Association (NBRA), said, ‘The NBRA is encouraged to see the government’s continued commitment to introducing measures to reduce motor insurance premiums.

‘It is vital that everything possible is done to tackle the rampant compensation culture and reduce the number and cost of claims, by banning offers to settle claims without the support of medical evidence, and introducing a new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries with duration of up to two years.’

Ben Fletcher, director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, commented, ‘The Queen’s Speech provides welcome confirmation that the government is committed to the whiplash reforms, which will undoubtedly help to curb the compensation culture that blights the UK.’

Mike Brockman, CEO of telematics insurance provider, Insure The Box said, ‘Whiplash reforms are welcome but long overdue. Young drivers in particular have seen disproportionate increases to their premiums due to a range of factors – not least the dramatic change to the Ogden rate – but this is at least a glimmer of hope for the vast majority of honest motorists who are subsiding the dishonesty of a small minority of others.  Any changes that lower costs and increase access to insurance for young people must be welcomed – the ability to drive opens up many opportunities, not least employment and education for those in more rural areas.’

Mark Harvey, director of urban electrified van programmes at Ford, said, ‘At Ford, we support the government’s plans to increase funding and support for the faster development of next-generation transport solutions for cleaner air in our cities. This means investing in a range of technologies, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and the infrastructure of charging stations required to support their growth. Commercial vehicles have a significant role to play in urban air quality, and we are already working on a trial with Transport for London and fleet customers including the Metropolitan Police, who will be operating 20 PHEV Transit vans in London starting later this year.’

Commenting on the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, Graham Armitage, partner and co-lead of mobility ecosystem at KPMG UK, said, ‘The announcement of an Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill is a welcome one. The mobility ecosystem – how people and goods get from A to B – will be fundamentally disrupted by the development of electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and Mobility as a Service.’

He continued, ‘The intention for a set of common technical and operational standards represents a substantial move forward in terms of convenient access to a national charging network. Additionally, the planned extension of compulsory motor vehicle insurance, to cover the use of automated vehicles, also addresses a key part of the necessary regulation to enable the use of these vehicles on UK roads.’

LeasePlan UK’s managing director, Matt Dyer said, ‘It’s promising to hear that the government is set to invest in the UK electric car infrastructure, the foundation is crucial as electric vehicles take an even bigger position in the UK.’