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UK’s King Review of Low-Carbon Cars Issues Call for Evidence

The King Review of low-carbon cars in the UK issued a call for evidence, inviting views from all interested parties on how best to achieve substantial reductions in road transport emissions over the next 25 years, as part of the UK’s strategy to tackle climate change.

The Review, operated out of HM Treasury, is tasked with examining the vehicle and fuel technologies which over the next 25 years could help to decarbonize road transport, particularly cars. It is led by Professor Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University and former Director of Advanced Engineering at Rolls-Royce plc, working with Sir Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change in October 2006.

The Review is building on the work of the Energy White Paper, the Government’s Low Carbon Transport Innovation Strategy, and the Technology Strategy Board’s Innovation Platform for Low Carbon Vehicles. The deadline for responses to the call for evidence is 20 August 2007; the Review will publish an analytical report later in 2007.

The Review will provide an overview of the range of technologies currently under development, as well as the potential scope for more radical solutions, and an assessment of what is likely to be achievable. The review will look at the technical, environmental and economic aspects of new technology. As far as possible, it will assess the benefits of transport technologies in terms of contribution to reducing total CO2 emissions and not just road-transport generated emissions.

Road transport emissions account for approximately 20% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. Reduction of these emissions, in the UK and internationally, is likely to be one of the most significant challenges in meeting our environmental ambitions and tackling climate change. We are therefore keen to obtain a wide range of inputs from relevant parties to support our review of this critical area.

—Professor Julia King

The Energy White Paper. The Energy White Paper, published by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in May, sets out a framework for action to address energy and global warming risks and challenges. Alongside the energy white paper, the Department for transport (DfT) published a Low Carbon Transport Innovation Strategy which describes its approach to stimulating innovation in low carbon transport technologies.

Broadly, the UK is looking at technologies with the potential to make a significant contribution to carbon reduction in the road transport sector in the near-medium term, as well as a number of technologies with longer term potential to deliver very large scale carbon reductions.

Technologies with the clearest potential to contribute in the near future include:

  • Continued incremental improvements to petrol and diesel engines;

  • A range of new and emerging lightweight materials;

  • Nearer market hybrid gasoline-electric or diesel-electric vehicles; and

  • First generation biofuels (bioethanol made from sugar or starch crops and biodiesel made from oil crops and wastes).

Technology options which may become very significant over longer timescales are, according to the government’s current thinking:

  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles;

  • Fully electric vehicles;

  • Second-generation biofuels made from a wide range of biomass sources; and

  • Hydrogen-powered vehicles.

To support the development of low-carbon technologies, the UK government will make three key investments:

  • The DfT will contribute an additional £5 million (US$9.8 million) per year to the low carbon transport theme of the Energy Technologies Institute.

  • In conjunction with the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the DfT and EPSRC will help finance and develop a new Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform providing coordination and up to £30 million (US$59 million) of support from 2008/09 for UK technology research aimed at accelerating the development of relevant technology. The Government may extend the program to run over a number of years.

  • With initial funding of £20 million, the DfT will develop a new program of public sector procurement to promote and support low carbon vehicle development, including small fleet demonstrations to provide early markets for new innovative lower carbon vehicle technologies.

The UK government has also set a fleet average car procurement target of 130g CO2/km by 2010/11 for new cars purchased by Government and used for administrative operations.




The threat to our planet is so great, that laws should be passed
immediatly forcing all car companies to produce at least one fully
electric car in their range which would be sold at the price comparable
to its ICE equivelent model.


Although I agree with you on the advantages of the electric car, forcing private companies to make one and sell it at a price set by law is just plain old fashioned communist plan economics. It didn't work in the Eastern bloc, it won't work elsewhere. Let Tesla, Lotus, Cleanova, Smith Electric Vehicles and the small Italian companies you write about do their work and bring their products to market. If they can deliver, they will slaughter any traditional car company that does not folow their lead.


I agree with you to some extent , however I do feel it is all
going too slow , and certainly the electric car is in danger of being wiped
out by the car companies themselves , as it is a threat to their profitabilty.
It seems to me that any competiter to the ICE´s dominance of the
market is fair game to be rubbed out , and maybe the only way forward to
impliment this technology on fast track basis is through legislation.


Beware the Lightning GTS powered by Nanosafe from AltairNano(Alti) will strike soon, courtesy the UK Electric Lightning Car company.
See EVworld 6-11 article.
The Altairnative is clear:Nanosafe


Is Tesla being rubbed out? I don't think they are, and in any case if GM or Ford were to try, there are some big names and seriously deep pockets behind that company. I'll bet Elon Musk has his own lines to Congress as well. Much the same for Lotus. The electrification of the car presents an unique opportunity for the British car industry to rise from its death. The UK government won't shed a tear if that means the demise of Fiat or BMW, on the contrary. And the French? some moves are being made there as well, let's wait and see if the order for 10.000 EV's for Le Poste materialises. If so, expect Renault and PSA to launch their own EV's within several years.


Is Tesla being rubbed out? I don't think they are, and in any case if GM or Ford were to try, there are some big names and seriously deep pockets behind that company. I'll bet Elon Musk has his own lines to Congress as well. Much the same for Lotus. The electrification of the car presents an unique opportunity for the British car industry to rise from its death. The UK government won't shed a tear if that means the demise of Fiat or BMW, on the contrary. And the French? some moves are being made there as well, let's wait and see if the order for 10.000 EV's for Le Poste materialises. If so, expect Renault and PSA to launch their own EV's within several years.


They are already selling PSA that is , quietly in switzerland , on a
vist to Lugarno last week I spotted a newish Saxo filling up outside


While focus on technologies that will reduce carbon is a good thing, the continued increase in population and the increases in car ownership in China and elswhere will dwarf any efforts to fix this problem technologically.

Even if we go PHEV or EV, that will not radically change our carbon footprint unless we can combine those moves with smaller cars. A multi ton vehicle will have a large carbon footprint if we don't signicantly change the carbon profile from the average power plant. The Prius, a much more practical and useful vehicle for the average driver than the Tesla, has the same carbon footprint, based upon the nation's average co2 emissions per kwh. They both get an equivalent of 4 miles per kwh. Scale up the Tesla to a much larger, heavier car, and you might just be better off buying the Prius from a carbon standpoint.

And what if the rumors are true about the next Prius? If it gets significantly better gas mileage than the current version with the promised reduction in the costd of hybridization, the near term rational goal may be a lot more Prius type vehicles and not a lot more EV or PHEV type vehicles.

The purpose of this post isn't to praise the Prius, but point out that the EV or PHEV is not a silver bullet. Regardless of what technology people choose, there will still be a carbon penalty if they insist on just replacing their gas guzzlers with kilowatt guzzlers. Weight, size, and aerodynamics have an impact regardless of the power source.

We will continue to want it all and, therefore, any schemes to fix all this with better technology will fail unless there is a preference change, whether volunatarily through incentives and disincentives. A feebate program would be a good start.

However, one major change which could tip the balance in the EV's or PHEVs favor is a radical change in the way we produce electricity. We need to start by banning any new coal plants or expansions. We need to crank up wind to its maximum, feasible penetration. We need to further encourage PV installation by removing any existing barriers. Even in so called progressive Colorado with its PV incentives, there are many small communities who have no access to net metering or any solar incentives.

Regardless of what we do, let us not wait for the perfect technology. We have the technology right now to cause a massive reduction in oil consumption and carbon emissions. Just switching to Priuses or other vehicles, including diesels, with comparable gas mileage would eventually reduce our emissions by at least 60%. Yes, there are families who need larger vehicles. But I don't see families driving to work; I see mostly single people in vehicles which are way oversized for the task at hand, unless the task at hand is crushing their fellow drivers.


I really don't buy all the global warming hype, but I'm willing to hedge my bet by using less energy, if for no other reason than economics. However, using draconian methods to that end, like social engineering, simply doesn't work.


Tom: although I agree with you as far as weight reduction and driving habits go, I think you are underestimating the CO2 savings of going electric. An electric car using even the dirtiest coal still has a carbon advantage over a regular gas car (and IIRC a prius as well) with (as you pointed out) the opportunity to run from much cleaner sources (hydro,NG,PV etc..)

G. R. L. Cowan, boron combustion fan
the continued increase in population and the increases in car ownership in China and elswhere will ...

not ...

dwarf any efforts to fix this problem technologically...

if the technological fix is preferred by aspiring motorists the way radial tires and electric start were preferred to bias-ply tires and hand cranking.

Stan Peterson

Tom is wrong. Being able to support only an increase in vehicle numbers by less than a single order of magnitude is sufficient to provide vehicles for everyone in the world.

Technological improvements of several orders of magnitude are in the offing, and being achieved already with much more to come. There are at least 3 orders of magnitude improvements achievable with primitive PHEVs alone.

There are no shortage of materials to construct these vehicles, as matter is essentially indestructible and we live on a globe of iron. The only question is the availability of enough fossil hydrocarbons if the technology to operate them remains in oxidizing hydrocarbons.

That is questionable but electricity is essentially unlimited in the future, so the energy to both construct and operate these vehicles is certainly going to be both available and inexhaustible within a few decades.

Tom has been reading too many Malthusians, who are all thoroughly discredited.


The Tesla doesn't necessarily have any CO2 emissions, it can be powered by electricity generated 100% from photovoltaics and hydropower. The Prius doesn't have any choice, at 60 mpg 0.31 lb of CO2 come out of the tailpipe per mile no matter what. From a simple energy standpoint electric cars are better than 75% efficient, gasoline powered about 25%, and hydrogen not any better (50% eff to make the hydrogen, 50% to use it in the car for a total eff of 25%). It is easy to have electric cars get the equivalent of 200 mpg, I don't think the next generation Prius will come close to half that.

Edward Byerley

The Automotive Low Carbon Innovation Forum is a networking forum taking place over one day. The forum is an initiative to create a working relationship between OEMS, Tier Suppliers, Manufactures, Logistics, Research and Development.

The European Union plans to begin fining car manufacturers with models that don't get the average carbon dioxide emissions of their fleets below 130 grams per kilometre travelled. Chief executives of OEMs wrote an open letter to the Financial Times last December telling the public that ‘much of the €20bn spent every year on R & D is dedicated to developing vehicles that emit less CO 2. The move to Low Carbon last year created 400000 jobs and turned over an estimated £25 billion in the UK.

Captains of Industry see the transition to a low carbon, resource-efficient economy is a vast opportunity for wealth creation, and creates an opportunity for the UK supply chain to capture commercial benefit by taking the lead in the development of low carbon vehicle markets.

The challenge is to become an international supplier of choice of hybrid drivetrains and solutions to the major vehicle manufacturers. This will be achieved by building on areas of particular strength i.e. design engineering, manufacture, first tier automotive component suppliers and the diverse established second and third tier supplier base.

As a registered delegate you may compile your own agenda. The forum is an opportunity to meet with relevant delegate's from your sector. The delegates programme and meetings schedules will be arranged by our content software three weeks prior to the event.

Registration and content software ensures each delegates schedule is met and all 1on1 sessions, discussion groups, share sessions, seminars and case studies that you wish to attend or cheer run swiftly and never overlap. Browse the Forums content and register www.alcif.com

Please do not hesitate contacting me should you have any questions or visit our website www.alcif.com

Find attached the sponsorship levels.

Edward Byerley

Sales Manager

Ultima Media Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)208 987 0935

Mob: +44 (0)7876 675424

Fax: +44 (0) 208 987 0948/ 0928

Lamb House, Church Street, London, W4 2PD


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