24m Government fund for green cars

The low carbon vehicle industry is looking to get a big boost from a £24 million eco grant awarded to six-winning projects, according to Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.

The projects, funded by the Technology Strategy Board are aimed at increasing mass manufacturing of electric cars. All projects in total will receive £52 million by contributions from other businesses.

Nissan, Lotus and Jaguar Land Rover will join up to produce plug-in hybrid versions of their cars, among other developments such as a lightweight electric bin wagon and reducing the weight of materials used. They will also aim to utilise thermal energy for better performance.

Under the Government's Plug-in Car Grant, drivers will be given as much as £5,000 to invest in electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuelled vehicles. However, they must ensure that their cars are safe enough, having met the criteria for performance, and having undergone crash testing

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: "While I am convinced that rail will be the future of long distance inter-urban journeys, we can't ignore the fact that 84% of journeys are made by car and there is no realistic prospect of displacing the private car for point to point complex journeys."

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