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I looked it up myself rather than following that link.

I always think the OP should kick off with some views of his or her own. But on first inspection, it is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I looked it up myself rather than following that link.

I always think the OP should kick off with some views of his or her own. But on first inspection, it is a good idea.
It's an odd sort of critique, it was more in the way of announcing a piece of news so others can look it up for themselves. But moving on ......

Well, it wasn't so much this one case of funding Lotus in particular I was asking if it was a good idea (but feel free to share any specifics).

The 'idea' I am asking if it is a good idea for Gov to do is backing a company to build electric cars.

Distorts the market, and open to abuse. All those others wondering why Gov is supporting their market competition against them?
 

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The 'idea' I am asking if it is a good idea for Gov to do is backing a company to build electric cars.
Probably yes if it's a British company. But there aren't many of those in car manufacture.

OTOH: "The Lotus Evija is its first electric car, and will have an estimated 1,972bhp, top speed in excess of 200mph, and a range of 215 miles."
I'm not sure they should be giving money to build rich men's toys.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Probably yes if it's a British company. But there aren't many of those in car manufacture.

OTOH: "The Lotus Evija is its first electric car, and will have an estimated 1,972bhp, top speed in excess of 200mph, and a range of 215 miles."
I'm not sure they should be giving money to build rich men's toys.
Well, if they can make it for <£40k then maybe we'll all look to try to get one! ;)

In principle, there's no particularly good reason why such performance can't be built from electric for sub £40k.
 

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It's hard to see the path from research project into actual manufactured EVs, there doesn't seem to be any of the significant EV manufacturers involved.

But I don't agree with the idea that its bad because it distorts the market, after all most of the big developments in EVs are due to government intervention. Tesla's heritage goes back to California's clean air and zero emission vehicle mandates which drove the creation of EV1 and inspired the founding of Tesla. China's supremacy in battery manufacture coming from its early strong support for EVs, recognizing their importance as a new technology. The recent growth in new models coming from the EU's vehicle emissions targets.

The disappointing thing about the UK Government is that its interventions are so inconsistent, poorly targeted and largely ineffectual.

It throws money at subsidising domestic charge point installation while taking a laissez faire approach to public charging infrastructure, when getting the public charging infrastructure in place is the more important area because it requires a coordinated programme to provide UK wide coverage. It throws R&D funds at Vehicle-2-grid projects yet it can't even get a standardised system for domestic smart charging in place, despite investing investing several billion in a smart meter roll-out which was designed from day 1 to include smart load control.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's hard to see the path from research project into actual manufactured EVs, there doesn't seem to be any of the significant EV manufacturers involved.

But I don't agree with the idea that its bad because it distorts the market, after all most of the big developments in EVs are due to government intervention. Tesla's heritage goes back to California's clean air and zero emission vehicle mandates which drove the creation of EV1 and inspired the founding of Tesla.
You're missing a super-big point there, that the intervention in the example you mention there is to everyone, not to individuals.

It is intervention to particular individual companies that is market distorting, hence mentioned this example.

China's supremacy in battery manufacture coming from its early strong support for EVs, recognizing their importance as a new technology.
China can't distort its own market, it 'is' its own market, and of course countries are completely at liberty to pursue any policy they like to make themselves the best in the world at something.

That's the question here, does backing a particular BEV company help the UK? I would say I think we are a bit further down the road now that this is probably getting a bit late for this sort of thing. 10 years ago it made sense, pump-priming the market. Now, there is a massive range of choice of virtually off-the-shelf products from 1st tier suppliers to feed a manufacturer, and I struggle to see the benefit of helping the manufacturers now.

If, however, money was diverted to the 1st tier suppliers to bolster the manufacturing industry, that would make sense now.

At each stage of support, one can move back down the supply chain a little, helping strengthen the infrastructure to production delivery.

The disappointing thing about the UK Government is that its interventions are so inconsistent, poorly targeted and largely ineffectual.

It throws money at subsidising domestic charge point installation while taking a laissez faire approach to public charging infrastructure, when getting the public charging infrastructure in place is the more important area because it requires a coordinated programme to provide UK wide coverage. It throws R&D funds at Vehicle-2-grid projects yet it can't even get a standardised system for domestic smart charging in place, despite investing investing several billion in a smart meter roll-out which was designed from day 1 to include smart load control.
Quite so.
 

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Its a world economy and interlinked like a web. No need to worry if it's a British company, but it is helpful to keep jobs an importantly expertise here.
The Germans have been doing it for years. Funding research in Universities with a direct link to manufacturing. eg Erlangen an Siemens.
 

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Its a world economy and interlinked like a web. No need to worry if it's a British company, but it is helpful to keep jobs an importantly expertise here.
The Germans have been doing it for years. Funding research in Universities with a direct link to manufacturing. eg Erlangen an Siemens.
True, but of course via universities there is some public access and the benefit of educating the next generation of (not-company-specific) clever people.

So, yeah, if they said 'we're supporting Lotus with a lump of cash via a university research department', sounds slightly better to me.
 

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Sadly, our State funds often tend to get chucked at dead-end projects. Giving Lotus a bung when they've got the might of their Chinese owners behind them seems odd. The only logical conclusion is that our Government is indeed trying to grease a palm.
It would be lovely for the UK state to fund an EV for the common man, say £20k tops, to be built in the UK. Sadly we have no British car companies left capable of producing volumes necessary to give economies of scale at anything like this price point.
 

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Its a world economy and interlinked like a web. No need to worry if it's a British company, but it is helpful to keep jobs an importantly expertise here.
The Germans have been doing it for years. Funding research in Universities with a direct link to manufacturing. eg Erlangen an Siemens.
I agree with the sentiment, but saw yesterday that the EU is refusing to accept any "British-made" EVs (e.g. LEAF) as actually British-made because we don't add value, we just assemble them. If the EU sticks to that line (and I do realise there's a long way still to go), then there will be few to no EVs made in Britain because heavy tariffs will be applied, so the OP's project will have been for nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
...EU is refusing to accept any "British-made" EVs (e.g. LEAF) as actually British-made because we don't add value,
Why would we give a toss any more what they think? Do you mean, just for the next 2 months of Covid-supressed production output?
 

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Why would we give a toss any more what they think? Do you mean, just for the next 2 months of Covid-supressed production output?
The tariffs will be a barrier to exporting UK-made EVs to the EU.
We may or may not give a toss (in the spirit of a bullish Brexit) but tariffs will tend to suppress our EV exports to the EU at the expense of EVs made in the EU.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The tariffs will be a barrier to exporting UK-made EVs to the EU.
We may or may not give a toss (in the spirit of a bullish Brexit) but tariffs will tend to suppress our EV exports to the EU at the expense of EVs made in the EU.
Sorry, maybe I am missing something. What business will it be to external countries 'how' things are made, if we have no trade agreements in place?

Have 'we' ever refused an import from another country 'because of' the origin of the parts they are made from?

I might even believe this is contrary to word trade rules.

A country's 'internal' rules might differentially tax stuff coming in according to whether it is a finished product or not, but when/if we re-export, it is a complete finished product and sold on that basis?
 
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