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Electric Cars And Buses

Volume 961: debated on Tuesday 23 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied that sufficient planning has taken place to ensure that Great Britain takes the lead in the manufacture of electric cars and buses once the major research problems have been overcome.

The major research problems associated with electric vehicles relate particularly to batteries and controllers, the work on these and other subjects being continuous, will be applied progressively to improve the performance of electric vehicles—not only cars and buses. Demonstration and pilot production phases will, I understand, provide the basis of information for the planning decisions on full-scale production.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what research is currently being undertaken into the technology of electric cars and buses; how this compares with that in the United States of America, Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany and France; and if sufficient planning has taken place to ensure that Great Britain is in a position to take the lead in the full-scale manufacture of this technology.

Research is concentrated mainly upon batteries and controllers for use in electric vehicles. The degree of interest in United Kingdom work shown from overseas suggests that we compare favourably with other countries. Demonstrations of the application of technologies and pilot production are the natural fore-runners of full-scale manufacture and are proceeding.