17/12/2009

Brown Welcomes Ministerial 'Mini E'

PM Gordon Brown has welcomed an all-electric, zero emissions Mini E to the Government car pool in Downing Street.

The Mini E will be tested by ministers wanting to try a fully-fledged electric car in an urban environment on their official business around London.

The cars presented to the government by Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW Group (UK) Ltd, following the handover of 40 identical cars to members of the public who will run the cars as part of an important scientific field trial.

The cars will be tested for one year in total and will both help to shape the future of BMW Group electric vehicle development and to inform the wider world about the economic, behavioural and practical issues of living with an electric vehicle.
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The Prime Minister was joined by Cabinet colleagues, including the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, who has been an enthusiastic supporter of electric vehicle development through the Government's Technology Strategy Board.

Mr Brown: "I congratulate BMW and Mini for their ground-breaking electric Mini project and I welcome the extensive user field trial that has now begun."

He added: "The low carbon transport industry will not only cut harmful emissions but has the potential to be a major source of jobs and growth. We have already committed £400 million of support to the sector, encouraging its development and take-up.

"I am confident that in future years we will see thousands more electric and other low carbon cars on Britain’s roads."

Lord Mandelson said he is delighted that the Mini E is going to be put through its paces by Government ministers for two months.

"The Government is keen to show that driving electric vehicles is fun. I want the UK to be a world leader in low carbon transport and cars like the UK-built MINI can help us achieve that aim."

(PR/BMcc)

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