The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, welcomed an all-electric, zero emissions MINI E to the Government car pool in Downing Street, London. The MINI E will be appraised by ministers wanting to try a fully-fledged electric car in an urban environment on their official business around London.
The MINI E was presented to the government car pool by Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW Group UK, following the handover of 40 identical cars to members of the public who will run the cars as part of an important scientific field trial. The cars will be tested for one year and will both help to shape the future of BMW Group electric vehicle development and inform the community about the economic, behavioral and practical issues of living with an electric vehicle.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown: “I congratulate BMW and MINI for their ground-breaking electric project and I welcome the extensive field trial that has now begun.”
The Prime Minister added: “The low carbon transport industry will not only cut harmful emissions but has the potential to be a major source of jobs and growth. We have already committed £400 million of support to the sector, encouraging its development and take-up, and I am confident that in future years we will see thousands more electric and low-carbon cars on Britain’s roads."
Like the MINI E research projects in North America and Germany, the UK trial is a collaborative effort between the partners in a consortium lead by BMW Group UK.
Scottish and Southern Electric will be responsible for the electricity infrastructure in the research area and is committed to supplying ‘green energy’ from sustainable sources to all drivers of the MINI E through an offsetting scheme.
Additional funding is provided by the Technology Strategy Board as part of a UK-wide programme involving trials of 340 ultra-low carbon vehicles from several manufacturers. This funding enables the monthly lease for MINI pioneers to be reduced from £550 to £330.