UK government sets £100 million to develop electric cars
29 October 2008
Britain's fledging auto industry received a boost when the government announced £100 million to help it develop electric and other ultra-low emission cars in which the government will fund up to 100 electric vehicles to test how they operate in real-life driving conditions.
Gordon Brown has come down heavily on OPEC for cutting oil production when the world is going through an economic crisis.
He has also championed electric cars as a means of cutting dependence on oil and thereby reducing the UK's carbon emission level by 80 per cent of which road transport accounts for 20 per cent.
Transport secretary Geoff Hoon outlined the scheme to fund the development of electric cars and said that the government had shortlisted 10 companies that would compete to supply low-carbon vans to local councils and government bodies so that the electric vehicles could be tested in real-life driving conditions.
He said that the scheme had the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs in the automotive sector.
Such vehicles are emissions free, and those available on the market usually cost between £9,000 and £12,000. Once fully charged they can travel up to 40 miles.
The government will also give £20 million for research and development in technology to make electric and other green cars more affordable since at present the price of electric cars is very high, the function of their batteries and the problem of recharging since Britain does not have a network of charging centres.