Video Message by HRH The Prince of Wales to the 2018 Zero Emission Vehicle Summit
Secretary of State, ladies and gentlemen, I…I must begin by saying how very sorry I am not be able to join you this morning. But I do want to send you my very best wishes and encouragement for your important summit in Birmingham.
Not too many years ago, most people would have laughed out loud at the idea of a zero-emission vehicle. And of course, there is a long way to go before anyone could claim to have a vehicle that will not be responsible for any emissions during its life cycle. But the pace of innovation has been remarkable. I need hardly say that this is a paradigm shift which I’ve been hoping to see for a very long time. As many past and present heads of motoring manufacturers will no doubt remember.
So, it was a particular pleasure to travel in one of the latest generation of zero emissions electric vehicles just a few weeks ago, when I went in a prototype Jaguar I-PACE during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London. It was a product of excellent British ingenuity and engineering and as a result of my experience, I’m pleased to say that my household has recently taken delivery of two production versions of that car, to use in the capital. Indeed, I’m looking forward to travelling in one of the new vehicles for the first time later today.
Now, it seems to me that the pressing need now is to accelerate the pace of change, not just on the journey towards electrification, but in all the other requirements of sustainable mobility, from better and more environmentally-friendly batteries, to material efficiency, closed-loop manufacturing systems and above all, grid decarbonisation. It is only through innovation in all these areas that we will ultimately resolve the traditional tension between our desire for the freedoms that come with personal mobility, and the detrimental effects on urban air quality and the global climate.
Well, I’m sure that your summit will help drive the changes that we all desperately want to see. So, I wish you every possible success and hope that your time in Birmingham and Milton Keynes respectively will prove to be beneficially productive.