Four prototypes of the T27 vehicle will be developed by 2011 in the £9m project, with the ultimate aim of bringing it to market.
The three-seater cars, which will be slightly smaller than Smart cars, will be produced using a low-energy manufacturing process developed by Gordon Murray, called iStream. The iStream process has already been used to develop the petrol-fuelled T25 prototype.
The process, which has been under development for 15 years, means cars can be assembled in a factory designed to be 20 per cent of the size of a conventional factory.
Gordon Murray, chief executive and technical director of Gordon Murray Design, says, ‘The T27 programme is a great opportunity for us and our partners to create what will be the world’s most efficient electric vehicle.’
The project is being supported with £4.5m in funding from the Technology Strategy Board. Lord Drayson, Science and Innovation Minister, says, ‘The T27 is a great example of smart engineering and sustainable design. It’s timely too, as the UK must demonstrate its readiness to exploit the emerging low-carbon vehicles market.’