Dr Colin Herron has worked in the automotive industry for over 40 years including 17 years at Nissan in Sunderland. In 2005, Colin joined North East England’s Regional Development Agency working with national Government to grow the automotive economy in the region and input into electric vehicle policy. launched Zero Carbon Futures in 2011 as a not-for-profit, electric vehicle consultancy. The company has overseen the growth of electric vehicle charging infrastructure networks – starting at a regional level and now working across the UK to develop rapid charge networks as well as advising towns, cities and governments on how best to adapt to the introduction of low carbon vehicles. He is currently an advisor to the Mayor of London and Transport for London advising on their EV infrastructure requirements to 2025.
Colin has a PhD in Engineering; an MSc in Manufacturing and sits on the IET’s manufacturing policy panel. He was recently awarded a CBE for services to business and renewable energy.
The vehicle industry is in turmoil at the moment with falling sales, the move from diesel, electrification as well as unclear future battery technology and supply. There is also only a certain amount of money, and people, in the car industry available to carry out the biggest transition the industry has ever faced, with a large dose of uncertainty. We also have international and national political targets matched by voter pressure at local level forcing irrational activity. There is also a lot on noise with competing technologies vying for attention, such as hydrogen and various methods of charging vehicles. On top of this we have campaigns of misinformation, myths, don’t knows, abuse of statistics and factors such as unnecessary complication of charging a vehicle. On top of this we are trying to forecast the behaviour of people who will use a technology that is still evolving, they have no experience of, but we have to plan for this behaviour now. To achieve what is required in terms of decarbonising transport, we need to accept what is probably going to happen and park what is possibly going to happen and get on with it!