UK: New electric car maker starts up
A new electric car manufacturing company is setting up in the UK.
The newly formed Liberty Electric Cars is investing GBP30m in re-engineering large luxury cars and SUVs.
The company said it would design and manufacture a unique electric drive-train platform to power a wide range of large vehicles, which will also have the flexibility to incorporate emerging technologies.
Liberty Electric Cars is aiming for annual vehicle production to be in the "tens of thousands". Around 250 new jobs will be created.
Initialy production will include an electric Land Rover. Liberty founder and CEO Barry Shrier said: "The... Range Rover takes electric vehicle technology into a new sector, to large luxury cars that people aspire to drive, particularly in cities and urban environments where environmental controls are becoming increasingly tighter."
The firm said its vehicles will incorporate state of the art energy storage and management systems, which the company will also offer to other vehicle manufacturers, commercial fleet operators and emergency response organisations. The cars will have extended driving range and shorter recharge times.
Liberty's Range Rover will have a range of 200 miles (about 300km) between charges and some models will have range-extending generators. Costs will range from GBP95,000 to GBP125,000 depending on model and specification.
Shrier is a former managing director of Deutsche Bank. He has been joined by Peter Sylvester, a former finance director of Harley Davidson, BMW and Rover, and Ian Hobday, who has a background in international sales and marketing with BASF and Arch Chemicals, where he was global managing director of the coatings business.
Lord Anthony St John of Bletso chairs the company's advisory committee, which includes former MP and science minister Ian Taylor and a number of experts in electric vehicle system design.
A number of UK manufacturing locations are under consideration. Manufacturing will be managed in a way that makes as little environmental impact as possible, with much of the assembly work taking place alongside key suppliers' existing operations.