The big brands were out in force at the unveiling of the government’s £25 million electric car trial initiative, as grateful to be basking in the associated publicity of being involved as they were for the cash incentive on offer.
But among the successful bidders was a group of car companies to which it meant a whole lot more to be involved – not least because very few people would of heard of them, and even if they had, as in the case of the well-known Westfield company, they were unlikely to know the details and extent of their electric car plans.
Delta Motorsport, Lightning Car Company, Westfield Sports cars and Ecotricity cars were all chosen to be part of the scheme because the government was convinced that involving sports cars in the project will help persuade the public that electric cars can be exciting and exotic.
It’s a brave move to put £2.5 million of government money into these niche companies, but I can understand the logic. Looking at the projected performance figures and the pictures of the cars, it’s clear they should turn heads wherever they go over the next 12-18 months of the trails.
However, there’s no doubt that the government’s investment brings with it big pressure. All of these cars are prototypes, and it would be severely damaging to the companies involved – and the government’s PR machine – if they didn’t perform as intended or, worse still, proved unreliable.
They represent the best of British entrepreneurial spirit, but do you think they can deliver?