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Hay Festival plays host to panel debate on electric vehicles

Go Ultra Low will be holding a panel debate on the future of electric vehicles at this year’s Hay Festival.

The panel, chaired by broadcaster, author and electric car expert Robert Llewellyn, will bring together speakers from Government, and the automotive and energy sectors, to share insights on how they are working together to accelerate the transition to electric mobility.

Transport minister Jesse Norman will provide a perspective from Government, covering the policies that are facilitating the growth of the electric car sector, while Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), will be offering an industry-wide view on how the automotive sector and government can collaborate effectively and accelerate electric car uptake.

Tony Whitehorn, president and CEO of Hyundai UK, will outline Hyundai’s plans for how it will transition to an increased number of electrified powertrains, including hydrogen fuel cell, and how the company expects technology and the UK market to develop in the coming years.

Meanwhile Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, will be on hand to discuss how the energy sector will adapt to accommodate increased numbers of electric cars interacting with the grid, the increasing use of renewables and the number of tariffs available.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Continued collaboration between government and industry to drive uptake of plug-in cars will play a vital role in achieving shared ambitions of improving air quality and ensuring fuel security.

“With its strong track record on sustainability and encouraging debate on environmental issues, the Hay Festival is the ideal setting for a discussion on how government and industry are driving the transition to low emission driving.”

Norman continued: “The Government is committed to meeting our climate change targets and improving air quality, which is why we are investing £1.5bn in support for ultra-low emission vehicles by 2021.

“We are working closely with industry to realise these ambitions. The Hay Festival is renowned for its ability to bring different kinds of expertise together to solve problems, and it is a delight for me as a Minister and local MP to take part in this event.”

The panel, entitled Electric Vehicles: How Low Can We Go?, will take place at 10am on Thursday (May 31) in the Oxfam Moot venue.

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