Government office pledges £19m towards developing low-carbon vehicles
10 December 2009

Almost £20 million of new investment in low-carbon vehicles has been secured at the first meeting of Britain’s new automotive council.

The council, co-chaired by Lord Mandelson and Richard Parry-Jones, secured a £19m investment from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Technology Strategy Board to fund supply chain projects for low-carbon vehicles.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive and council member, said: “This provides an important signal about the influence of the council and provides real opportunities for companies that want to be at the forefront of new technologies.”

The council, which has been set up to provide a direct link between the government and the automotive sector, also agreed its three key objectives that it will be working towards.

The council said: “The Council agreed its key objectives were to help make the UK a compelling investment proposition for the global automotive industry, promote the UK as a base for the development of low-carbon vehicle technologies and to secure a strong UK supply industry.”

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When the council was launched last month, Mandelson said it would only be effective if its members worked together and brought realistic ideas to the table.

"It needs to be proactive and influential and have a very clear forward strategy, based on a very frank assessment of the industry’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “The better that it is able to set out the strategic challenges facing the industry, the better government and industry will be able to respond to them together.”

Other council members include Gordon Murray, Jaguar Land Rover chief executive David Smith and Vauxhall chairman Bill Parfitt.

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