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Written Answers

Volume 374: debated on Tuesday 5 October 1976

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Written Answers

Battery-Electric Vehicles In Government Service

asked Her Majesty's Government:(1) What is the total number of battery powered electric road vehicles in Government service at the present time; how they are allocated between the Departments and in each case what proportion is licensed for use on the public highway; and(2) whether they have carried out any comparative evaluation with internal combustion engined vehicles and so what conclusions have been drawn.

Details of the battery-electric road vehicles in service in Government establishments are not available, nor is the number licensed to operate on public roads. The latter number will be very small. Most Government-operated electric vehicles will be concerned with the movement of stores.Electric vehicles are designed for a different duty role from those conventionally powered and direct comparison is therefore not possible. But as an indication the conclusion drawn from a recent comparison of buses in not dissimilar roles was that the electric version consumes 1.7 times as much energy overall.

Information Retrieval System: House Of Lords

asked the Leader of the House:Whether he will make a Statement on the provision of a computer based information retrieval system in the House of Lords.

An operational requirement for a House of Lords information retrieval system was circulated widely to the industry by the Central Computer Agency and in June this year five firms were invited to tender. The House of Lords has now carried out an objective evaluation of each proposal and has decided to place a contract with the Greater London Council; use will be made of the GLC's IBM 370/158 computer and STAIRS/ATMS software. This proposal extends the existing arrangement and will be for an interim period of one year. It will enable the joint informal committee, under the chairmanship of the noble Lord asking the question, to consider the future use of computers in the Houses of Parliament, to conclude its deliberations and make recommendations.House adjourned at thirteen minutes past one o'clock.