Low Carbon Leadership is there for the Taking

By Richie Frost, Sprint Power founder and CEO

Finally, Brexit has meant Brexit – although we still don’t really know what the UK leaving the EU looks like. This continued uncertainty is not good for carmakers or the prospects of further investment into the UK.

However, there are reasons to be optimistic, but much depends on the UK’s ability to spearhead the global move to low carbon mobility. The government’s vehicle electrification and charging strategy will be crucial to the future of the UK auto industry. 

There have already been some interesting developments lately. The government’s plan to ban the sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles, including hybrids and plug-in hybrids, potentially as early as 2032, has got everyone talking – and not just in this country. It will be interesting to see whether the UK’s plans constitute a footnote or the start of a broader trend globally.

We welcome the government’s decision to bring the petrol and diesel ban forward, and it will certainly focus the minds of everyone within the auto industry. Cars and mobility will have to change more in the next decade than they have in the past century.

New skills and training, infrastructures, technologies and industry standards are needed to enable this shift which will require the collaboration of not just the car industry, but also government, universities, energy and tech companies. It’s a big task.

With the current shortage of skilled workers, manufacturers are finding it hard to recruit people with the right talent and skillset. In this environment, specialist UK engineering companies like Sprint Power can thrive – offering the agility and focused capabilities to help larger organisations achieve their goals.

Our involvement in projects like the UK government’s trial of wireless charging systems for taxis means many engineers and propulsion specialists are knocking on our door. Some have become tired of working in overly corporate environments. Sprint Power is a place where they can make a real difference. We have quickly established a position at the forefront of the UK’s transformation to low carbon vehicle technology.

This growth reflects the potential for British companies specialising in electric propulsion to offer strategic and technical services to global vehicle manufacturers. We began operating at the start of 2019 with just nine members of staff. A year later, we’ve increased our headcount to 50 team members and expanded our facilities in Birmingham. That’s an approximate 500% growth rate – meaning that we’re one the fastest growing automotive companies in the UK.

This decade is a real opportunity for UK companies to lead the way on low carbon innovation and inspire the next generation of engineers to take up a career in electrification. Not only will they be helping global vehicle manufacturers reinvent themselves, but these EV experts will help Britain forge a new path for itself as a global leader in electric propulsion.