Lots of electric car stories in the motoring news this week ...
PLUG-IN CAR GRANT ENCOURAGES SAFER VEHICLES
RoadSafe supports the stringent standards set for the Plug-In Car Grant, which will offer motorists up to £5000 to buy qualifying electric, plug-in or hydrogen fuelled cars.
To be eligible, cars must be crash tested and meet the same safety standards as regular internal combustion vehicles. Many of these already have higher safety standards than the tests require. They will also have to meet minimum range and performance criteria.
RoadSafe director Adrian Walsh said, "It is quite right that plug-ins meet the same safety criteria as other cars. We fully support this government initiative, which encourages so much innovation, led by the auto industry, to create safer, greener cars."
The safety standards will set electric cars apart from quadricycles, which only have to meet the same standards as three wheeled motorbikes. Government hopes the incentive will bring the ideal of mass-market electric vehicles closer to reality.
GOVERNMENT PLEDGES £24 MILLION ELECTRIC CAR INVESTMENT
The Government is to invest £24 million in developing electric vehicles has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth, but the campaigning charity warned that more must be done to cut the transport sector's massive contribution to climate change.
Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond has pledged the cash to fund the development of new engines, technology and infrastructure that will eventually enable more motorists to use electric vehicles.
Mr Hammond said today that he wants the current Government to be 'the greenest ever', and hopes the investment will both reduce the carbon emissions from car travel and provide a timely boost to this growth industry.
Friends of the Earth Transport Campaigner Richard Dyer said:
"Electric cars can help reduce carbon emissions from transport and Government support for this new industry is welcome - however, these vehicles won't do enough on their own to cut transport's contribution to climate change.
"Furthermore, electric cars are only as green as the power they use.
Ministers must ensure that more of our electricity comes from renewable sources.
"The Government must rapidly cut carbon emissions from transport if it is to be the greenest Government ever.
"More than half of all car journeys are under five miles - the Government must support councils to introduce local schemes that will encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport for these short journeys.
"Bold policies are urgently needed to tackle these emissions."
Source: Friends of the Earth
ELECTRIC DREAMS MOVE A STEP CLOSER TO REALITY
Mass market electric cars moved a step closer today as Transport Secretary Philip Hammond awarded £24 million to further develop the UK's low carbon vehicle capability.
The six winning projects - which together with contributions from business will receive total funding of £52m - are part of the latest Technology Strategy Board competition. Projects include the development of new engines for plug-in hybrid versions of Nissan, Lotus and Jaguar Land Rover cars, a lightweight electric bin wagon, development of lightweight materials for vehicle weight reduction, and new technologies using thermal energy to improve vehicle performance.
The Government also set out the eligibility criteria for its Plug-in Car Grant. Under the scheme motorists will receive a grant of up to £5,000 to purchase electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuelled cars. In order to be eligible, cars must meet appropriate safety standards and must have been crash tested. They must also meet minimum range and performance criteria.
The Government believes that this combined support will place the UK at the forefront of low carbon automotive development and provide a vital economic boost for the UK economy by giving us a key competitive advantage in this increasingly important global market.
Source: Department for Transport
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