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Motor Vehicle Industry

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he plans to take to encourage the development of innovations with fewer negative effects on the environment in the automotive industry, with particular reference to companies which have been adversely affected by the recession. (261641)

New green investment is vital to ensure that the automotive industry emerges from the current downturn with the skills and technology base needed to be competitive in the global automotive market. The Government announced on 27 January an Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP). This is a temporary programme aimed at unlocking up to £2.3 billion of investment in low carbon initiatives in the UK automotive sector. On 27 February, the Government obtained European Commission clearance for the AAP and on the same day published guidance and criteria for companies wishing to apply for support under the programme. The guidance and application criteria are available on the BERR website:

In addition to the AAP, an industry-wide technology roadmap plotting the pathways to ultra low carbon vehicles is being developed and finalised by the industry-led New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team. The Government are supporting the associated research agenda to accelerate their market introduction through the Technology Strategy Board-led Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform, which will be delivering over £110 million of public sector support.

Further, on 15 January, the Department for Transport announced £250 million to get more ultra low-carbon vehicles on Britain’s roads, helping motorists to go green by stimulating consumer uptake and helping to reduce emissions from road transport and improve local air quality. Further details of how this money will be spent will be announced later in the year.