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£9m for new electric city car that can be sustainably manufactured

05 November 2009

A  project to develop a new all-electric urban car, that will be affordable for many consumers when it reaches market and manufactured using an innovative and sustainable production process, is announced today.

The development of the T.27, the brain child of Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive Technology, has been made possible through a £4.5m investment from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board.  With a total cost of £9m, a new research and development project will allow the consortium to develop four prototypes of the vehicle by February 2011.

The T.27 is a sustainable vehicle, which means that it will be designed in a way that minimises the use of materials and keeps 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.  The iStream production process is also highly efficient, and flexible to minimise the cost of production. Gordon Murray, Chief Executive and Technical Director of Gordon Murray Design said:

 “The iStream manufacturing process behind the T.25 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.  An opportunity to start from a clean sheet of paper combined with our disruptive manufacturing technology will result in a product which truly pushes the boundaries of urban vehicle design and further protecting our mobility”.

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 this affordable, fun and environmentally friendly car widely available on the open market. Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said:

“The Technology Strategy Board exists to support projects like this and ensure that clever, innovative and realisable ideas do not founder because of the amount of investment and risk taking that is needed to enable them to succeed.  The partnership between Gordon Murray Design and Zytek is one that we helped found at the start of the downturn and are now delighted to support.  It is essential that business continues to innovate despite tough economic times and the development of this new vehicle is testament to the fact that, despite the risk, businesses that innovate now will be better placed to benefit from economic opportunities in the future.”

Pictured here is
Lord Drayson, Science and Innovation Minister, who announced the funding today.

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