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The research councils in most cases advise grant recipients and research organisations to take responsibility for the ownership and exploitation of intellectual property arising from funded research.

Vehicles: Electric

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

Earl Attlee: The UK automotive industry has developed an industry consensus view of the technology roadmap towards the decarbonisation of the transport sector. Fuel cell electric vehicles are identified within this as one of the range of technology options required,

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with introduction to the general market forecast from the latter half of this decade. The ongoing work required on low-carbon technology road mapping, including the identification of areas of growth opportunities for the UK industry, is being carried out through the Automotive Council, which is proving to be an excellent example of joint industry and government working.

At present, production of fuel cell vehicles is primarily at a research, development and demonstration phase, and in the short term, volumes are therefore likely to remain limited to low numbers of niche vehicles and demonstrator programmes. However, some vehicle manufacturers have suggested that fuel cell vehicles may be commercially available earlier than previously forecast, perhaps starting to be seen from as early as 2015.

The Technology Strategy Board's Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform is currently delivering over 340 ultra low-carbon vehicles in a demonstration programme. This includes a hydrogen-powered city prototype vehicle and a converted hydrogen fuel cell black cab. Continual monitoring is being undertaken throughout the programme with an assessment at the end of the trial.

Asked by Lord Dykes

Earl Attlee: The Government do not hold an estimate of the number of charging posts that will be in the United Kingdom by the end of 2014. Such an estimate would be very difficult to generate as the electric vehicle market is at a formative stage. There is a lack of empirical evidence about the number of charge points required to sustain a set number of electric vehicles or where people will choose to charge their vehicles in the future-at home or at public charge points. Depending on how people choose to charge their vehicles, the number of public charge points required will vary widely, making any estimates at this point unreliable.

Following the Spending Review, the coalition Government are providing up to an additional £20 million to the Plugged-In Places scheme to support a small number of places to install a critical mass of charging infrastructure in their areas. This scheme will help the Government understand the future infrastructure requirements for electric vehicles and contribute to meeting the coalition agreement commitment to mandate a national network of charging infrastructure.

Asked by Lord Dykes

Earl Attlee: In 2008, the Government commissioned research to assess the scope of the transport sector to switch to electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Under

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the report's mid-range scenario, it was estimated that 9,000 plug-in hybrids could be on the road in the UK by 2014.

In the intervening period, the Department for Transport has maintained a dialogue with relevant manufacturers about the production of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and supply levels for the UK. Plug-in hybrids are not likely to become available in significant numbers until 2012, two years later than the date of introduction forecast in the 2008 research. The uptake trajectory could therefore be somewhat slower.

More detailed information from manufacturers about numbers of vehicles in production and supply to the UK has been provided on a commercially confidential basis, and I regret that I am therefore unable to disclose this.

Your Freedom Website

Question

Asked by Lord Grocott

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: No ideas have been posted on the Your Freedom website in the last month as the site closed to comments and ideas on Friday 10 September 2010.



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Youth Justice Board

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The coalition Government have undertaken a review of all arm's-length bodies as part of their pledge to reduce their number and cost and to increase accountability. As a non-departmental public body the Youth Justice Board was included in the scope of this review.

The review sought to determine which functions should continue-and specifically which should continue to be delivered by arm's-length bodies. Three tests were applied to all bodies:

does it perform a technical function?does it perform a function that needs to be politically impartial?does it need to act independently to establish the facts?

Following the application of these tests, and taking into account the Safeguarding the Future report produced by Dame Sue Street and Frances Done, it was concluded that youth justice functions should be directly accountable to Ministers. Therefore the board is to be abolished and its functions brought into the Ministry of Justice.


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