Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Britain set to become electric car capital of Europe if Brown seals deal with General Motors

Britain is to become the 'electric car capital of Europe' under a deal being hammered out between the world's biggest car company and Gordon Brown.

Bosses at General Motors want to build a revolutionary electric family vehicle at their factory in the UK - creating up to 500 new jobs.

It is part of the car maker's plan to make 1 in 10 of every vehicle they sell in Europe an electric version.
If a proposed deal between the car giant and Mr Brown is realised, all of them will be built in the UK.

By 2015 up to 220,000 electric cars a year - with batteries included - would be built at Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire.

The factory would supply the whole of Europe with electric cars, of which 40,000 would be sold in the UK.

The new project from GM's British subsidiary Vauxhall would create 500 new jobs on top of the 2,200 people already employed there.

The 'green' car will be called the Flextreme - an electric hybrid which Mr Brown inspected for himself when he met company bosses today at the British International Motor Show.

Whitehall officials have said that the plan 'was of interest' and 'struck a chord' with Government thinking.

Details emerged as Mr Brown told car makers on the preview day of the show that he wanted them to build more electric cars to cut pollution.

In return for the massive investment, General Motors wants Mr Brown to honour his wish to have public charging points for electric cars on thousands of British streets.

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