HC Deb 09 November 1979 vol 973 cc338-9W
Mr. Carter-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what discussions he has had with the motor car industry regarding energy saving; if his Department is making any financial contribution to research into energy saving in the motor car industry; what developments are taking place with regard to petrol-driven car engines to give greater miles per gallon; what attempts are being made to develop battery-powered vehicles; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. David Mitchell

Ministers and officials at all levels are in touch with representatives of the motor car industry, and the currently important subject of energy saving is one of many which are discussed. The Department supports research development and demonstration projects undertaken in co-operation with the motor car industry and most of these have energy-saving implications. The majority of developments, including those related to the petrol driven car engine are undertaken with commercial aims by industrial companies.

The Department is also supporting work of a longer-term nature related to the development of batteries and to the vehicles they are intended to power. I am encouraged by progress I saw on a recent visit to establishments using electrically-powered vehicles.