Anne told about car plant’s plan to go fully electric after Sunak’s eco rollback

The Princess Royal has visited a Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) factory to hear about its plans to switch to building only electric vehicles – despite Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s push back on the ban on new petrol and diesel cars.

Anne travelled to the firm’s Halewood production plant in Liverpool on Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of manufacturing at the site.

It comes after her brother, the King, branded global warming “our most existential challenge” and called for a new entente cordiale designed to tackle the climate emergency during his state visit to France.

Royal visit to Halewood
Anne meets employees during a tour of the Jaguar Land Rover factory (James Speakman/PA)

Anne was given an “exclusive insight” into JLR’s ongoing plans to turn fully electric at the plant and the work underway to achieve it, the company said.

Her visit took place less than 24 hours after Mr Sunak watered down his green policy designed to help the UK reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

On Wednesday, Mr Sunak said the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be delayed from 2030 to 2035.

Rishi Sunak visit to Chelmsford
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Writtle University College near Chelmsford, Essex, on Thursday (Alastair Grant/PA)

JLR said earlier this year Halewood will become an all-electric manufacturing facility.

A spokesman for the firm said its plans have not changed after Mr Sunak’s announcement and it is “moving forward” and preparing targets.

Trevor Leeks, JLR Halewood operations director, told assembled guests: “We look forward to an exciting new chapter as the plant progresses at pace to an all-electric future, building the next generation of vehicles as we deliver our Reimagine strategy and our ambition to be the world’s leading modern luxury car manufacturer.”

Royal visit to Halewood
Anne at the Jaguar Land Rover factory (James Speakman/PA)

Motoring groups have been told by Transport Secretary Mark Harper that the zero emission vehicle mandate will be introduced despite Mr Sunak’s rollback, the PA news agency understands.

The Cabinet minister is expected to announce that by 2030 at least 80% of new cars sold by manufacturers, like battery electric vehicles, must be zero emission.