Strathclyde Uni research shows green car investment could create 30,000 jobs

Some 30,000 jobs could be created if major investment is undertaken in the UK’s energy network to enable the transition to electric vehicles.

Around 30,000 jobs could be created along with wider economic benefits if substantial investment in upgrading the energy network is made to enable the transition to electric vehicles across the UK, according to a new study. Picture: Peter Devlin
Around 30,000 jobs could be created along with wider economic benefits if substantial investment in upgrading the energy network is made to enable the transition to electric vehicles across the UK, according to a new study. Picture: Peter Devlin

Research carried out by the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy, supported by SP Energy Networks, examines the wider impacts of the “extended and substantial” investment in network upgrades required to enable 99 per cent electric vehicle (EV) uptake by 2050.

The study shows that the transition to EVs through to that date could deliver an additional 30,000 full-time equivalent roles across the UK, generating an increase of 0.16 per cent in GDP per annum. It could also lead to an increase in wages (+0.1 per cent).

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The majority of jobs created would be in the network, construction and service sector supply chains. Many of the roles created would be related to EV manufacturing, from developers of bodywork to delivery drivers for the companies producing components.

The report notes that accelerating the uptake of EVs will be crucial in reducing the emissions given off by traditional petrol and diesel cars and help meet the UK government’s net zero targets.

Scott Mathieson, director of network planning and regulation at SP Energy Networks, said: “Increased uptake of electric vehicles can lead to economic prosperity with sustained benefits to the UK economy.

“Investment in upgrades to the electricity network to enable this EV transition can create up to 30,000 new full-time, high-quality jobs and will have an immediate and sustained positive effect on GDP.

“Our work is far more than just keeping the lights on. Investing in EV infrastructure and adoption of EVs will help shift a post-Covid 19 economy onto a pathway for a green economic recovery.

“This robust analysis demonstrates why providing the right environment for greater investment in the infrastructure to support EVs now is so crucial to creating a much-needed economic stimulus and enabling the UK to meet net zero targets. By working together, we can help develop a better future, quicker.”

Professor Karen Turner, director of the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde, said: “The UK has set binding targets to meet net zero emissions by 2050 and transport is one of the key sectors where emissions will have to significantly reduce.

“One of the key questions that remains for regulators and policy makers, is how and when the required infrastructure upgrades to the electricity networks will be invested and paid for, which will have important implications for just how the rollout more generally impacts across the wider economy.

“Our economic analysis shows that the switch to electric vehicles through to 2050 could ultimately deliver sustained benefits across the wider economy, with the extent and nature of gains depending very much on the economic and policy conditions.”

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