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Tesla CEO Elon Musk to advise UK government on electric vehicles

Announcing his appointment, deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the Coalition government was seeking experts from the ultra-low carbon industry to maximise the return on a confirmed £900m investment in the sector by 2020.

‘The job now is making sure that we get the most out of every penny,’ he said. ‘So today I am launching a call for evidence from key players in the industry to find out how we kick start demand and make the UK the number one European destination for investment in ultra low emissions vehicles.   

‘Tell us what the barriers are. Tell us how we can help reduce costs and keep these vehicles affordable. Tell us what changes we need in our infrastructure and business environment. ‘

Clegg said the UK was already experiencing a renaissance in the sector, with Toyota and Nissan producing hybrid and electric models here. Additional advice would be aimed at securing the country’s position as a global leader in ultra-low emission technologies, with benefits for the environment and economy as a result.

He explained: ‘[Musk] brings unmatched expertise to the table. Among other issues, he’ll consider how we can boost investment, massively increase the take up of electric vehicles across the country and promote the benefits of ultra low emission vehicles more widely to drivers. ‘

In addition to Tesla Motors, engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk founded online money transfer service PayPal, is chairman of clean energy services provider SolarCity and chief executive of spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX, which is aiming for its first manned flights in 2015.

Alex Grant

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