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Investment in electric cars could benefit the UK by £51 billion

A new report from the Institute of Motor Industry predicts that government investment in charging stations for electric cars and repair garages could help boost the UK's economy by £51 billion a year.

The report, which was written by Professor Jim Saker of Loughborough University, suggests that now is a critical time for the government to begin investing in electric car infrastructure, because if it fails to do so it might miss out on major economic benefits down the line.

A significant investment in this industry could also create 320,000 jobs if low emission cars are made widely available to drivers in the UK. The UK also will need to focus on protecting the motor industry's economic growth as well as the safety concerns that will arise with the expansion of the electric car industry.

Independent garages are already having a difficult time recruiting skilled technicians and 81 per cent of them are unable to find employees. In addition the UK retail motor industry is unable to attract young people to take up a career in its field.

Currently in the UK only 1,000 technicians are properly qualified to maintain electric cars. If electric cars become widely adopted, it will be necessary to invest in training technicians who are able to keep these vehicles running and safe.

The global adoption rates of electric cars are not as high as was previously predicted. The US energy secretary has said that the US will not see one million electric vehicles on the road until 2020. This goes against President Obama's previous statement that this would be a reality by 2015.

After last week's launch of the Tesla 3, it is clear that there is a growing interest in electric cars and that they are slowly becoming more mainstream. If the UK wants to get ahead of the curve it needs to seriously invest in the infrastructure that could make the use and ownership of electric cars possible.

Image Credit: Olga Marc / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.