§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the advantages of subsidising research into electric vehicle propulsion and the installation of recharging facilities in large conurbations; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Bowis
There are a number of research projects, such as the Coventry electric vehicle project, recently launched by my right hon. Friend and partly funded by the Energy Savings Trust, which are already assessing the benefits and practicality of electric vehicles in real-life situations. Although electric vehicles have yet to reach the point where they are a clear alternative to more conventional technology as a means of providing a cost-effective solution for urban air quality concerns, a variety of organisations are working to improve the technology and reduce costs. I am keeping this progress under review.