The West’s humiliating electric car climbdown has begun

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France’s President Macron had a plan to make millions of electric vehicles a year. Chancellor Scholz planned to put 15 million on Germany’s roads by 2030. President Biden trumped the lot with a $174bn (£138bn) plan to make the US the world leader. Even Boris Johnson – remember him – had a £1bn plan to beef up our charging network.

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Rewind only a couple of years, and almost every president or prime minister was making electric vehicles the cornerstone of an industrial strategy. And yet, this week we have learned that Renault is abandoning plans to separately list its electric vehicle (EV) and software business, while Volvo is winding down its Polestar electric sports car subsidiary.

In reality, amid an onslaught of Chinese competition, and falling sales, the West’s electric vehicle dream is quickly unravelling – and we need to relearn all the lessons in why grand, state-led industrial strategies never work…

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