Government sets its sights on mass-market electric cars

Industry experts from around the world are meeting UK Government officials in London today to discuss how to kick-start the mass-market production of low-carbon and electric cars.

Energy, automotive and planning experts from 15 countries, including Japan, India, France, Spain and Norway, will attend the event, which is part of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s initiative to put the UK at the forefront of a Green motoring revolution.

Speakers at the event include Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon, Tayce Wakefield of General Motors, and Daniel Sperling, founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis.

Issues up for debate include the technological challenges and key barriers posed by, and the opportunities that could be created from, the low-carbon and electric vehicle market.

One of the meeting’s aims will be to produce a declaration on how to take the outcomes forward. The event could also feed into the G8 Energy Forum in Japan in November and the London Energy Summit in December.

Business Minister Ian Pearson says, ‘Currently, less than 0.1 per cent of the UK’s 26 million cars are electric. The Government is committed to bring lower-carbon vehicles to

Britain’s roads as soon as possible. We need to act now to ensure that the UK is at the forefront of this new industry.

‘The UK’s automotive sector has a global reputation for research and development, design engineering and manufacturing. The development of electric vehicle technology is an opportunity for the UK to take the

lead and, given the current state of the global economy, we need to seize that opportunity now.’

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