Minister hails �9m electric car project

A Surrey firm is behind a Government-backed £9 million project to develop an affordable all-electric urban car.

A Surrey firm is behind a Government-backed £9 million project to develop an affordable all-electric urban car.

Called the T.27, the car is the brainchild of Gordon Murray Design, based in Shalford, near Guildford, and Derbyshire company Zytek Automotive Technology.

It has been made possible through a £4.5 million investment from the Government-backed Technology Strategy Board.

The two companies will develop four prototypes by February 2011.

Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson said: "The T.27 is a great example of smart engineering and sustainable design. It's timely too, as the UK must demonstrate its readiness to exploit the emerging low-carbon vehicles market.

"The challenge is far greater than simply meeting stricter EU emissions targets. We need to expand our car industry through green innovation."

The T.27 is a sustainable vehicle, which means it will minimise the use of materials and keep the embedded carbon of the vehicle as low as possible. The aim is to ensure that the environmental impact of the materials and energy that are used are as low as can be.

Gordon Murray, chief executive and technical director of Gordon Murray Design, said: "The manufacturing process behind the T.25 (the petrol version of the car) and T.27 is all about sustainable, low-energy process by design.

"The T.27 programme is a great opportunity for us and our partners to create what will be the world's most efficient electric vehicle."

The aim of the 16-month project is to develop prototypes that will put the consortium in the position where they can further explore the possibility of scaling up and building a manufacturing facility, with the ultimate goal of making the car widely available on the open market.

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