Electric car deal should bring 100 jobs to Leicestershire

Posted on: 10/21/2016
Electric car deal should bring 100 jobs to Leicestershire

One of the first commercially viable mass-market electric cars is to be developed in Leicestershire.

Global automotive engineer the Motor Industry Research Association (Mira), which is based near Hinckley, is collaborating with the Global Electric Vehicle Company (GevCo) to create an electric vehicle that will "successfully compete" with petrol and diesel-powered models.

The partnership will see Ipswich company GevCo moving its base to the Mira headquarters, and is expected to create up to 100 jobs in the county.

A Mira spokesman said: "This marks the start of an exciting chapter in the development of a new generation of electric vehicles.

"Mira has already got a lot of low-carbon vehicle experience and this is a nice complementary project to continue what we are doing best.

"Electric vehicles are in their infancy and, with the partnership, we are entering a new chapter."

The project is still in its early stages and plans so far are for research and design to take place at the site. It is not known whether the cars will be built there yet.

Mira, which provides research and testing services for the automotive industry, recently helped develop Jaguar's Limo Green extended range electric vehicle.

The collaboration with GevCo, announced at the European Future Energy Forum in London this week, will start with the design of a four-seat "e-city" car, which will incorporate recyclable materials alongside energy-storage technology. If successful, the companies hope to create a series of vehicles.

Project workers say the innovative "white label" concept for the vehicles means other companies will be able to take on the design and rebrand the cars as their own.

The Mira spokesman said: "The innovative thing is that there will be a vehicle which will have no branding on it which will comply with international legislation.

"A company such as Apple, Virgin or JCB, which might be interested in entering car production, will be able to buy a blueprint.

"It will be a framework to which they can make additions and have something which will be unique to themselves.

"There has never before been the opportunity in the motor industry to start with a blank canvas."

GevCo chief executive Steve Woolley said: "This collaboration will lead to the creation of a vehicle that achieves a step-change in the way society views personal mobility.

"We aim to create a vehicle that is technologically advanced, can be personalised to reflect people's lifestyles and social values – a car for the iPod generation."

GevCo previously considered sites in Norfolk and Dagenham before being introduced to Mira by economic development company Prospect Leicestershire.

Prospect Leicestershire executive chairman Nick Carter said: "This helps to cement Leicestershire's position at the forefront of cutting-edge design and technology."

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