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Commissioner Cresson opens international symposium on electric vehicles

The European Commissioner for research and innovation, Mrs Edith Cresson, recently delivered the opening speech to the fifteenth international conference on electric vehicles, which took place in Brussels, Belgium, from 29 September to 3 October 1998. The conference brought to...
The European Commissioner for research and innovation, Mrs Edith Cresson, recently delivered the opening speech to the fifteenth international conference on electric vehicles, which took place in Brussels, Belgium, from 29 September to 3 October 1998. The conference brought together specialists in electric and hybrid vehicles to see the latest technological developments in this area.

A key feature of the event was the presentation of the results of the EU-supported FEVER project, which was completed this year. The research was supported within the framework of the specific RTD programme in the field of Non-nuclear Energy (JOULE-THERMIE) and produced a prototype of an electric car combining long range and zero pollution. The research has enabled the increase of fuel-cell output and the next stage will be the commercial production of this type of vehicle.

Commissioner Cresson's opening speech presented the upcoming Fifth RTD Framework Programme and in particular the key action on "The city of tomorrow and cultural heritage". This represents a slightly new direction within Community research policy to contribute to the resolution of socio-economic problems. Other key actions discussed were the "Economic and efficient energy for a competitive Europe" and "Land transport and marine technologies" which will also form part of the Programme.

The potential contribution of the electric car in the context of other Community policies, such as the Auto-Oil programme, and the commitments for the reduction of CO2 emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, was outlined. The need to pursue research efforts in order to exploit the full potential of electric technology was also underlined in this context. The particular significance of the conference to the international community was also stressed, due to the fact that an international effort to address wider problems such as global warming is required.

The Commissioner concluded her speech by underlining the potential contribution to be made by the Fifth RTD Framework Programme to research into new cleaner fuels, which are efficient with respect to both energy and competitiveness. She called on industry to coordinate its research needs, in order to ensure the production of competitive goods which respond to the needs of users in terms of both cost and performance.

Source: European Commission, DG XII

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