The Government has been urged to shake-up the way subsidies are handed to bus companies in order to show favour to the electric engine industry.
Sheffield-base Magtec, the UK’s largest supplier of electric vehicle drive systems, welcomed Sir Vince Cable to its design and manufacturing facilities and urged the Liberal Democrat leader to help alter the system which currently favours diesel-powered buses.
Marcus Jenkins, founder and managing director, said: “One key point was the perverse incentive that exists for diesel-powered buses.
“This is an unintended consequence of a subsidy that needs to be changed urgently to positively encourage operators to choose electric buses over diesels.
“Sir Vince was a champion of advanced manufacturing while in office and was very interested in Magtec and our position as a UK-based global leader in electric vehicle drive systems.
“He appeared concerned about the nonsensical situation with subsidies and we are hopeful that he can help drive reform.
“This will clean up the air in our towns and cities for the benefit of current and future generations and provide a massive boost for UK innovation, manufacturing and exports.”
Mr Jenkins added that the Government should also support operators with the installation of the required electric supplies to bus depots to enable overnight re-charging of their bus fleets. The supply required is comparable to an office building, he said.
Afterwards, Sir Vince tweeted: “Great visit. World beating technology to cut air pollution. Hope to see a big expansion in the use of the great British-made green engines.”
Magtec designs and manufactures drive systems for electric and hybrid commercial vehicles, including motors, gearboxes, generators, power controllers, battery systems and condition monitoring systems.
It is the UK’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicle drive systems.