Liberty offers a helping hand

Posted on 8 Mar 2011 by The Manufacturer

Liberty Electric Cars has committed significant resources to help electric van maker Modec after it entered administration.

Speaking on Tuesday, CEO Barry Shrier said: “It’s a sad day for the automotive industry as the UK has become the epicentre of electric vehicle technology – a position we must not relinquish. I believe Modec needs to be rescued by a UK firm to secure jobs and retain engineering expertise in this country.”

Shrier went on to outline Liberty’s technology road map and growing list of customers, speculating that a combined Liberty/Modec organisation would make a formidable player in the emerging EV sector.

Modec is considered one of the most promising low-carbon business opportunities for the West Midlands. When takeover talks with its US partner, Navistar, failed the company had no option but to call in the administrators.

Shrier continued: “While I applaud the UK government for promoting the uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies with financial assistance for research and for infrastructure development, I wonder why there have been no initiatives towards commercial vehicles. There have been many studies showing the health problems associated with diesel engine exhaust emissions so there are good reasons for the government providing incentives to purchase electric commercial vehicles – incentives which may have kept Modec in business and saved jobs.”

Referring to the announcement about eco-friendly cars grants made in January by transport secretary Philip Hammond, Shrier added: “It’s time to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. If the UK is to retain its position as a world leader in electric vehicle technology and development, the government needs to do everything it can to make sure key players such as Modec are not allowed to fail.”