§ Mr. Shersby
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what Government-sponsored research is currently taking place into the development of electrically propelled motor vehicles; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Williams
The wider use of electric vehicles will largely depend on the availability of a battery of superior performance to existing lead-acid batteries. The Government is accordingly concentrating its development effort into participation in a consortium set up to develop the sodium-sulphur battery; the estimated Government contribution over the last 2 years is £1m. Owing to the many formidable problems, both technical and operational, it is not expected that vehicles employing this battery will be in service for some years.