Eight new low-carbon vehicle projects have been selected to run real-life trials supported by £25 million in Government funding, Science Minister Lord Drayson and Transport Secretary Lord Adonis announced today.
The project — the largest of its kind to date — is aimed at accelerating the availability of innovative low-carbon cars to consumers. The successful bids bring together consortia of car manufacturers, power companies, RDAs, councils and academic institutions to operate trials in eight locations across the UK.
“Low carbon doesn’t mean low performance,” Lord Drayson said. “Modern electric cars offer power and bucket loads of torque.”
He added, “Today’s announcement signals our intent to reduce our dependence on petrol- and diesel-based engines, and determine the best practical alternatives.”
“We want Britain to be at the forefront of ultra-low carbon automotive technology, blazing a trail for environmentally friendly transportation,” said Adonis. “Central to our plans is the stimulation of demand for low-carbon cars through projects like this to test the technology and give motorists the opportunity to feedback the information needed to make greener motoring a reality.”
Adonis continued, “Our aim is for ultra-low carbon vehicles to be an everyday feature of life on Britain’s roads in less than five years. This is a challenging target and there is still a long way to go. However, if we continuing to work closely with motorists and the industry with initiatives like the demonstrations project, I believe it is achievable.”
Some 340 vehicles will begin trials on UK roads within the next six to eighteen months; most will be electric, with a small number being plug-in petrol/electric hybrids. Many of the electric cars will be recharged via plug-ins around cities across Britain, as well as at home.
The winning consortia include:
- The West Midlands consortium (CABLED, short for Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators), which is made up of 13 organisations and led by Arup;
- Electric Vehicle Accelerated Development in the North East (EVADINE), which consists of Nissan, Smith Electric Vehicles in partnership with LTI, AVID Vehicles, Liberty Electric Cars, Newcastle University and One North East;
- Ford Focus Battery Electric Vehicle, a consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and Strathclyde University;
- London South East Bid, whose partners include EDF Energy, the Greater London Authority, Elektromotive and the Westminster City Council;
- MINI E Research Project, which includes the BMW Group, Scottish and Southern Energy and Oxford Brookes University’s Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre;
- The Allied Vehicles Project, whose partners are Allied Vehicles, the Glasgow City Council, ScottishPower, Axeon and Strathclyde University;
- PHV, a joint venture of Toyota and EDF Energy; and
- EEMS Accelerate, led by energy, climate change and data management consultancy AEA.
It is encouraging to see the government back sucha a scheme, that will undoubtedly do a great deal to help reduce carbon emissions through road transport. But for the total number of car journeys to be curtailed, more investment in public transport and in travel plan initiatives are needed. Long-term thinking is needed. Estimates suggest that a good workplace travel plan can cut car travel by between 10 and 30 per cent, at negligible cost.
Ifti Akbar, Envido
Comments are closed.