The West Midlands has long been the historic centre of the UK's car making industries, with the former Leyland plant at Longbridge and with Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin still based in and around Birmingham. But, even as other manufacturing plants come and go around the country, with closures in Swindon and Bridgend, one often overlooked factor are the number of SMEs who feed into the West Midlands' motor economy. 

It's well-known that automakers need to constantly innovate to keep up with the market. The huge range of Electric Vehicles (EV) either on the market already or scheduled for release shows how seriously carmakers are taking the challenge. For smaller companies, who could see the parts they produce become obsolete even more rapidly than expected, the challenge is very much to adapt or die. SMEs have no choice but to invest in innovative new techniques and processes to ensure they are relevant as the country goes through an EV revolution, likely much sooner than the 2035 deadline set by the government. 

The opportunity is there. Not only are the West Midlands' existing companies transitioning to EV technology, but we're witnessing both the return of historic brands and the arrival of newer ones keen to tap into the West Midlands' economy. Numerous press releases hailing a new battery plant near Coventry seem little closer to reality, but should it go ahead, would be the kick start the sector needs to truly become a hub for EV innovation and manufacturing.

The accelerated end of the internal combustion engine surprised and delighted environmental activists and has proven politically popular. Yet it has thrown into sharp relief the peril facing workers in the fossil fuel economy, who risk being left behind in the energy transition.

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