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Automotive & Other Electric Vehicles

Providing comprehensive advice on Connectivity, Autonomous Vehicles, Shared Mobility, and Electrification Solutions

Demographic changes such as increased urbanisation, economic and technological power shifts and climate change are having a significant impact on the automotive industry globally.

The continuously evolving automotive industry is rapidly transitioning towards electric, autonomous, and shared mobility solutions, driven by technological advancements, environmental concerns, and shifting consumer preferences. In order to remain competitive, industry players need to embrace these changes as opportunities and develop their business models accordingly. The advent of electric vehicles is transforming not only driving habits and energy usage, but also supply chains, industries and physical infrastructure across the world.

Our lawyers have extensive expertise in navigating this dynamic landscape, with a proven track record in supporting clients in M&A and investment, regulatory compliance, financing, digitisation and intellectual property matters. We understand the complexities of the global automotive market and the challenges posed by digitisation, new business models, and shifting industry paradigms. As the environmental, technological and geopolitical landscapes intersect, our automotive specialists work closely with our Technology, ESG and Energy teams, as well as with the rest of our global Mobility Sector colleagues, to meet the challenges posed to our clients.

Our dedicated team of legal professionals is committed to providing strategic counsel, customised solutions, and comprehensive support to help our clients stay ahead of the curve in these times of transformational change.

Our experience

With the industry 4.0 and the need of both, suppliers and OEMs to build new production sites and/or integrated multi-brand or multi-type matrix platforms that suit the changing and challenging developments, for example the requirements of electrified cars, there is a push for (joint) greenfield investments in the industry.

Our expertise includes advising in the bidding process, on real estate matters, construction and operation and management contracts as well as corporate and regulatory challenges

Our dedicated team are advising on transactions and commercial opportunities across the full electric vehicle (“EV”) lifecycle: from mining and raw materials, through to battery and EV manufacture, charging infrastructure and recycling.

The product development cycle of cars and the development of new functionalities are accelerating - in part due to competition with emerging corporations and tech companies - and there is a wider regulatory environment that has to be adhered to, when developing and designing cars.

Product compliance is of the utmost importance and in case product design did not meet or worked against the spirit of legal requirements, we have a wide experience when it comes to crisis and/or risk management support.

Electrification changes the way we understand mobility. New questions with regards to the regulation of batteries, alternative fuel infrastructure and product liability law have to be anticipated. Additionally, questions regarding smart-contracting and contactless payments, health and safety regulations as well as electricity regulation in the broader sense have to be kept in mind – which we do with our holistic advice.
Level three and upwards is also a core competence of our Automotive Sector Team. We are aware that autonomous driving touches many legal areas and have the required experience and overview of the sector. Our experience covers, amongst others, product liability, data protection, warranty law, antitrust, telecommunication law as well as behavioural, road traffic and patent law.
Connected cars are both the first logical step on the way to becoming autonomous and a way to create new business models for OEMs, suppliers and tech-companies. We advise in all these areas and have a special focus on Vehicle2Vehicle, Vehicle2Infrastructure communication, in-car-shops and over-the-air updates. We are also very knowledgeable in the areas of car-sharing, car-hauling and the use of digital keys.
With the continuously evolving market and regulatory environment we know that there is a strong need to consolidate, collaborate and to join forces through joint ventures or acquisitions across the manufacturing, R&D and tech value chains. When setting up any such operation in the automotive sector, especially regarding product development, you need corporate lawyers with in-depth industry knowledge, which Linklaters can provide.

ESG in the automotive sector – key points to consider

Vanessa Havard-Williams spoke at the FT Future of the Car Summit. 

In this short clip from her session on ‘Why ESG is relevant to the automotive sector’, Vanessa Harvard-Williams provides a brief summary of the key ESG points for the automotive sector to consider specifically in relation to product sales, supply chain management, M&A and JV opportunities and access to finance.

Key contacts

Meet the automotive sector team
Automotive sector team
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