Nissan GB were jubilant after winning two prizes at the LowCVP gala awards, held in London on Monday night. The awards were held in association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in an event designed to celebrate low carbon transport.
Around 150 delegates were in attendance at the ceremony, mostly comprising automotive manufacturers and academics. Tony Juniper, former executive director of Friends of the Earth, gave a lively keynote speech that preceded the announcement of the awards.
Juniper praised automotive manufacturers for the “different vehicles now being driven on British roads.” Juniper pointed to the development of the Fiat 500 as a vehicle that not only uses innovative low carbon solutions, but markets the model in a way that makes it fashionable. He sees this as vital to increasing the sales of low carbon vehicles and LowCVP’s aim of accelerating their use.
Nissan GB took the first and last awards of the night, winning Low Carbon Car/Van Manufacturer of the Year and the prestigious overall award of Outstanding Achievement in Low Carbon Transport. The title of Low Carbon Car/Van Manufacturer of the Year was bestowed upon Nissan GB for their development of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF which was launched in March 2011 and is due to be manufactured at the company’s Sunderland-based plant. Large scale production will begin in 2013.
Matt Loader, design and technology communications manager at Nissan took to the stage to claim the awards. Speaking with TM, he commented: “This recognition is a proud moment for the company after years of development.”
Loader detailed how Nissan had sold around 600 Nissan Leaf’s in the UK and 15,000 worldwide. “The plan, as with all of our models, is to turn a profit. Investment in infrastructure for low carbon vehicles will help to accelerate this growth,” he said. LowCVP also recognised Nissan GB’s commitment to providing a strong charging, sales and service infrastructure to help consumers and corporate reduce their carbon footprint.
The awards are accredited by the Royal society of Arts (RSA) and undertook a judging process that involved 28 senior individuals from across a range of organisations. Tony Juniper emphasised the importance of leadership in the face of challenging climate issues. He commented: “It’s all too easy to take a back‐seat on this agenda. We need much more leadership. The winners of these LowCVP Awards have demonstrated leadership in their various fields; we need more individuals and organisations like them.”
Forty four companies and organisations were shortlisted across the nine categories on what proved to be a successful event. See below for a full list of the award winners:
Low Carbon Car / Van Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by HPI:
Winner – Nissan GB
Runner-up – Ford Motor Company
Commended – Renault UK
Low Carbon Heavy Duty Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by the Road Haulage Association:
Winner – Iveco UK Ltd
Runner-up – Hardstaff Group and Leyland Motors (tie)
Commended – Volvo Group
Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year, sponsored by TRL:
Winner – Stagecoach Group
Runner up – Transport for London
Commended – Warwick University
Low Carbon Fuel Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Michelin:
Joint-winner – Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd, Gasrec
Commended – Greenergy
Low Carbon Innovation by an SME, sponsored by BP:
Winner – Flybrid Systems Ltd
Joint Runner up – Delta Motorsport, Ashwoods Automotive
Low Carbon Road Transport Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Next Green Car:
Winner – Whipcar Ltd
Runner up – Campaign for Better Transport
Commended – Gateshead College
2011 Outstanding Low Carbon Publication / Report, Sponsored by ImechE:
Winner – Element Energy, Influence on the Low Carbon Car Market for 2020-2030
Runner up – E4Tech
Commended: Ricardo UK Ltd
Outstanding Individual in Promoting Low Carbon Transport:
Joint Winner – Stephen Joseph, chief executive for Campaign for Better Transport
Joint Winner – Richard Parry-Jones, industry chair for the Automotive Council
Outstanding Achievement in Low Carbon Transport:
Winner – Nissan GB