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We can win race against threat to planet, Kinnock tells motor industry

VEHICLE manufacturers gathered in Chester at the weekend to display the latest developments in green vehicle technology. The biggest yet exhibition of environmental cars in Britain included 18 cars - some concept vehicles, others available today - which shift the boundaries of fuel consumption and emissions expectations.

They included vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Carisma GDI, electric Toyota RAV-4, bi-fuel Ford Mondeo, Citroen Xsara Dynalto, bi-fuel Skoda Felicia and Honda's solar-powered vehicle. The event coincided with transport and environment ministers from across Europe visiting Chester for a weekend of discussions on future policy to mark Britain's presidency of the European Union.

Launching the exhibition, staged by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, SMMT president Ian McAllister said: 'The industry does take its responsibility very seriously. We are investing heavily in new technology and new cars today are already the greenest they have ever been.'

EU transport commissioner Neil Kinnock congratulated the SMMT and vehicle manufacturers present at the exhibition for developing sustainable transport options. He said: 'We have to make sure that the advances of car technology and the behaviour of all of us who need to use the transport system win the race against the malevolent forces of high emissions and a threat to life on the planet. I am sure that race can be won.'

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