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Local Authorities to Stimulate Demand for Hybrid Technologies - West Midlands local authorities hold key to stimulating demand for hybrid vehicles
Local Authorities to Stimulate Demand for Hybrid Technologies

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Aston Science Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2006/12/13 - West Midlands local authorities hold key to stimulating demand for hybrid vehicles.

   
 
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West Midlands council vehicles could play a key role in stimulating demand for ‘green’ hybrid automobiles if plans to have local authorities sign up to an agreement comes off, Advantage West Midlands Chairman Nick Paul revealed today (Wednesday).

Speaking at a Hybrids Vehicle Conference hosted by the Premium Automotive Research and Development (PARD) programme, Nick Paul said the West Midlands could then result in ‘locally design and locally built vehicles having a more rapidly-growing market’.
The PARD programme is funded with £33 million from Advantage West Midlands and was launched in 2003 to support the automotive industry through innovation and technology development.

Speaking at the conference – which was attended by more than 60 representatives from hybrid vehicle manufacturers and suppliers across the world – Nick Paul said the plans to encourage the public sector to invest in green technology had a lot of support.
He said: “We have been working with the Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies and our counterparts in the East Midlands on the idea of Forward Commitment.
“This means the city councils in the region signing up to procure low-carbon vehicles as an increasing proportion of their fleets in the coming years.
“This would be an excellent example of procurement by the public sector being used to stimulate innovative technology.
“If we are clever, this would result in locally designed and locally built vehicles having a more rapidly-growing market for larger production volumes over time.”
The PARD programme has worked with around 300 small and medium sized companies across the region to grain access to the very latest technologies and techniques.

Part of the work has involved working on low-carbon technologies for the long term as increasing Government demands mean more and more environmentally-friendly vehicles will be built.

Advantage West Midlands (advantagewm.co.uk) has co-funded a £1.2 million programme of applied research in core fuel cell technology as well as supporting Coventry-based Modec to establish a state-of-the-art production facility to launch its innovative Transit-sized electric delivery vehicle.
Nick Paul said: “In the short term, we need to support our vehicle manufacturers and supply base in bringing new products forward which are based on current - but leading edge – technologies, and current infrastructure for fuel supply.
“Inevitably this raft of new products will include electric vehicles, hybrids and more conventional but cleaner diesels together with increasing use of bio-fuels.”
Speaking earlier, Malcolm Fendick, Head of Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles Division at the Department of Transport, announced a new Hybrid sports car technology partnership between the University of Warwick and Kingswinford-based Westfield Sportscars Ltd.

The partnership will explore the potential for Hybrid versions of Westfield’s sports car products.
Adrian Vinsome, project manager of the Hybrid work at the University of Warwick, said: “With Westfield, we will be assessing improvements in performance and environmental impact.
“We have developed tools and techniques with a wide range of industrial partners and this collaboration will allow us to apply the tools in a new situation, and help the company to understand the business case that the various options present.”

 
 
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Written by / Agency / Source: Advantage West Midlands

 
 

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Local Authorities to Stimulate Demand for Hybrid Technologies

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Publisher Contact: Mat Danks - Advantagewm.co.uk 
+44(0)12 1503 3228 matdanks[.]advantagewm.co.uk
 
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