Brown in £90m boost for green cars

Gordon Brown is meeting motoring experts to launch a new initiative that aims to boost the development of electric cars.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister would bring together motor manufacturers, energy companies, designers and engineers to discuss how electric and other low carbon vehicles can be made widely available.

Mr Brown, who is attending the press preview day of the London Motor Show at the ExCel centre in Docklands, will promise £90 million of Government funding for research and development over the next five years.

Among the measures ministers want to look at is the rapid creation of a network of electric charging points, to be developed without the need for planning permission.

The Government also wants the National Grid and the energy companies to assess the impact on the electricity system to ensure that it could cope with a widespread switchover to electric vehicles.

Mr Brown is already calling on the European Union to set tougher mandatory fuel emission standards, ensuring a 40% cut in the average CO2 emissions of all new vehicles by 2020.

The Prime Minister argues that the greater use of electric and hybrid electric-petrol vehicles is necessary both to combat climate change and cut down the country's reliance on oil at a time of soaring world prices.

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