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Industry representatives support Commission initiative for "tomorrow's car"

On 14 June 1995, Ms. Edith Cresson, Commissioner responsible for science, research, and development, and Mr. Martin Bangemann, Commissioner responsible for industry, telecommunications and information technology, met with some 25 industry representatives associated with the de...

On 14 June 1995, Ms. Edith Cresson, Commissioner responsible for science, research, and development, and Mr. Martin Bangemann, Commissioner responsible for industry, telecommunications and information technology, met with some 25 industry representatives associated with the development of "tomorrow's car". The group of industry representatives, which included not only automobile manufacturers, but also fitters, producers of gas and electricity, electricians and users, fully supported the Commission's initiative for a car of the future and agreed with the Commission's ambitious timetable for its development (2000-2005). This meeting follows the creation, by Commissioners Cresson and Bangemann, of a special task force dedicated to the development of "tomorrow's car". The objective of this task force is to facilitate the research and trials necessary for the rapid development of a car of the future. The task force will facilitate the convergence of the work already undertaken in the area of vehicles with low or zero emissions. Its activities will concentrate on the crucial technological aspects which are holding up the development of vehicles of this type, notably: - Advanced technologies for storing energy and for propulsion; - Crucial accompanying technologies (electronics, light materials, telematics, etc.); - The integration of these technologies in vehicles with low or zero emissions, or hybrids, in close cooperation with the automobile sector. Ms. Cresson and Mr. Bangemann stressed the multi-sectorial character of the task force and the importance of its objective for Europe, which is presently lagging behind in this area. In the United States, President Clinton and the three major American automobile manufacturers launched the "Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles" in September 1993 and the federal government has earmarked US$300 million for this initiative in 1995. Japanese automobile manufacturers are also investing heavily in this area. The Commissioners reassured participants that the work of the task force would not substitute that of existing programmes but instead would set additional objectives which should be reached through improved coordination and complementary financing. In this respect, proposals will be presented to the Council of Ministers for the release of the ECU 700 million held in reserve for the Fourth Framework Programme. Consultation with the various sectors concerned is ongoing and the task force is expected to present a draft action plan in October 1995. Consultation of the European institutions and organizations is foreseen for December 1995 as is the implementation of the action plan.

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