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Concerns over the transition to EVs are rising after an index measuring the underlying strength of global supply chains indicated that it would breach the ‘high-risk’ threshold before the end of March.

The Achilles Supply Chain Resilience Index (ASCRI) had already fallen prior to the conflict in Ukraine, thanks largely to shortages of vital materials and soaring costs.

For the three months ending December 2021, the index indicated a score of 44.9 – less than five points higher than the 40% high-risk threshold.

But with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fears are growing that supply chains have had no time to recover from the pummelling they received during the pandemic.

It means that a global transition to renewable fuels and electric vehicles could stall as intense pressure is placed on manufacturers and battery producers fighting for the same materials, such as tin, molybdenum, nickel and lithium.

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Katie Tamblin, Achilles chief product officer and author of the ASCRI report, said: “Supply chain data emerging from Q4 2021 was already indicating that 2022 would be a rocky road for global supply chains, and now with the additional conflict in Ukraine, the outlook is extremely concerning.

“The ASCRI has, throughout the whole of 2021, flagged commodity prices and energy supply as bellwethers for global supply chains.

“We now face a critical tipping point that could have both supply and cost ramifications rippling through industrial and consumer markets for years to come.”

The warning came as Maxus launched a £30m EV support programme to encourage van drivers to switch to electric.

Mark Barrett, GM of Harris Maxus, said EV sales have been rising, but the pace was too slow if the UK was to successfully fulfil its commitment to phase out fossil fuel vehicles by 2030: “Achieving this target is no easy feat and it is going to take a monumental effort from all stakeholders,” he said.

“Maxus recognises that we have a key role to play in accelerating the rate of change, this is why the company has pledged to support the UK’s transition to zero emissions transport by encouraging drivers to switch to electric driving right now.”