Copenhagen delegates drive 60 British Electric cars

The conference is being hailed as an opportunity for world leaders such as Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel to agree emission targets post Kyoto. The conference will also showcase technologies such as electric cars that will help countries drive down CO2 emissions.

The 60 cars have been purchased by ChoosEV, a Danish company set up by three of the major electric power companies to promote electric vehicles. The chief executive of ChoosEV, who also is the owner of SIXT rentacar Denmark, Henrik Isaksen, commented ….“We are making the C1 ev’ie available through SIXT to a selection of delegates. The ev’ie demonstrates the outstanding performance possible from top grade electric cars; it is a joy to drive and feels just like a ‘normal’ car.” He continued… “We are delighted with our relationship with ECC, who are a leading market player in electric car technologies.”

ECC assembles the C1 ev’ie at a production plant in Bedfordshire. It expects to sell over 1,000 cars in Scandinavia in 2010 and to meet demand has established a distribution agreement with ChoosEV to market the cars in Denmark. Due to the demand in Scandinavia, ECC in conjunction with ChoosEV has set up a facility in Denmark to assemble the cars for the Scandinavian and German markets. ECC has sold cars in the last 6 months to Germany, France, Luxembourg, Norway, as well as to Denmark.

Both Denmark and Norway already provide significant incentives for consumer purchases of electric cars. This is in contrast with the situation in the UK. The government announced last April that there would be up to £5,000 subsidy for electric car purchasers, but this is to be deferred until April 2011. This has resulted in a virtual evaporation of the current UK market for electric cars, as buyers hold on until 2011 to obtain the subsidy.

David Martell Chief executive of ECC explains: “It is very unfortunate that we cannot fully exploit the advanced technology that we have developed in the UK, especially as the government and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, have stated that they wish to fully support a renaissance of the British motor industry by promoting electric vehicles. It is clear that other European Countries, that are providing incentives now, are leaving the UK behind in this area,”…. he continued … “Our assembly plant in Bedfordshire has been fully occupied throughout the last few months and we would very much like to increase capacity and employment to meet the high demand. I have written to Government to outline how ECC can help to put the UK firmly on the map, but unfortunately they have declined to offer any assistance to progress this opportunity. Consequently, I believe we will fall even further behind the rest of Europe and this has therefore been a factor in our decision to commence assembly in Denmark.”