A UK government funded project to develop a new all-electric and affordable urban car, manufactured using what is described as an 'innovative and sustainable production process' has been announced.

The development of the T.27 - the brainchild of Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive Technology - has been made possible through a GBP4.5m investment from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board. 

With a total cost of £9m, a new research and development project will allow the consortium to develop four prototypes of the vehicle by February 2011.

Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson said: "The T27 is a great example of smart engineering and sustainable design. It's timely too, as the UK must demonstrate its readiness to exploit the emerging low-carbon vehicles market. The challenge is far greater than simply meeting stricter EU emissions targets. We need to expand our car industry through green innovation.

"The T.27 is a sustainable vehicle, which means it will be designed in a way that minimises the use of materials and keeps the vehicle's embedded carbon as low as possible.  The aim is to ensure that the environmental impact of the materials and energy used are as low as can be.  The production process is also highly-efficient and flexible, thereby helping to reduce costs."

Gordon Murray, Chief Executive and Technical Director of Gordon Murray Design said: "The iStream manufacturing process behind the T.25 [petrol engined version of the T.27] and T.27 is all about sustainable, low energy process by design. The T.27 programme is a great opportunity for us and our partners to create what will be the world's most efficient electric vehicle.  An opportunity to start from a clean sheet of paper combined with our disruptive manufacturing technology will result in a product which truly pushes the boundaries of urban vehicle design and further protecting our mobility".

The aim of the 16 month project is to develop prototypes that will put the consortium in the position where they can further explore the possibility of scaling up and building a manufacturing facility, with the ultimate goal of making this affordable, fun and environmentally-friendly car widely available on the open market.

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