Stellantis could axe UK production unless govt acts on EVs

Stellantis could axe UK production unless the government does more to boost demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and help it comply with regulations requiring automakers to sell more EVs. Reuters and other agencies reported today on the announcement from Stellantis UK managing director Maria Grazia Davino.

Speaking at a news conference held by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in London, Grazia Davino told reporters that a decision on the future of the company’s UK production would likely come in “less than a year”.

Grazia Davino’s remarks come a little over a week before Britons go to the polls to elect a new government. Unlike the European Union, where vehicle manufacturers can meet CO2 emissions reduction targets by selling a mixture of hybrids and EVs, Britain is demanding from this year that vehicle manufacturers sell a minimum percentage of fully electric cars or face fines of £15,000 per non-compliant vehicle sold.

Stellantis could axe UK production

This year, the UK government has ruled that 22% of all new cars sold must be EVs. According to SMMT data, fully electric cars made up only 16.1% of sales through to May. Speaking about the mandates, Grazia Davino said:
“In the UK there will be consequences for sure. Stellantis UK does not stop, but Stellantis production in the UK could stop. The fact is that demand is not there. Let me be clear, I want to keep the production in the UK”.
There are still UK tax incentives in place for corporate fleets to buy EVs, but there are no subsidies for consumers to buy EVs, which are more expensive than fossil-fuel equivalents. Rather than pay fines, Stellantis, parent company to Peugeot, Fiat, Vauxhall, Jeep and others, may import fewer fossil-fuel models into the UK to curtail sales and hit the 22% target.
Stellantis wants Britain to provide tax incentives for consumers and to boost charging infrastructure, and for the company’s UK EV production to count towards its targets, even though some of it is exported. Stellantis currently makes electric vans at its Ellesmere Port plant in the North West, and has previously said it would start making electric vans at its Luton plant in southern England in 2025.