Govt continues ULEV support to 2020

The Government has now finalised key elements of its £500 million package to continue its support of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in the period 2015-2020.

Announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who said: "Owning an electric car is no longer a dream or an inconvenience. Manufacturers are turning to this new technology to help motorists make their every day journeys green and clean."

The key elements of the announcement are:
* At least £200m for the continuation of the Plug-in Car Grant; the grant will remain at £5,000 per car until 2017, or until at least 50,000 cars have been sold, whichever is the sooner
* Over £30m for other ULEV types including vans
* £100m for ULEV-specific R&D
* £35m for a new city scheme competition
* £20m for ULEV taxi services
* £30m for low emission buses
* £32m for infrastructure including rapid chargers
* £4m for HGV gas refuelling infrastructure

The funding package was determined following a call for evidence process which resulted in 134 responses from a range of organisations (including Next Green Car); vehicle manufacturers, supply chain companies, trade associations, academics and local authorities all contributed to the consultation process.

The call for evidence found that over 90% of responses supported the continuation of upfront consumer grants for cars and vans. Responses also indicated a desire to further improve the rapid charger network to address 'range anxiety' for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and encourage uptake of electric vehicles beyond urban environments.

Key elements of the announcement also included an annual review of the Plug-in Car Grant to ensure the right level of grant is in place with any significant changes to the plug-in grant being announced shortly.

Other key themes were the importance of strategic positioning of chargepoints and their interoperability. At Next Green Car we've been developing Zap Map, a UK-wide map of electric car charging points, soon to be launched a new stand-alone website.

A number of softer measures for example access to bus lanes and free parking for ULEV users was also announced. The Government plan to give a small number (between two and four) of UK cities the opportunity to trail these new ideas. Essentially these cities will then act as demonstrators to other cities and towns wanting to follow their example.

Dr Ben Lane, Director at Next Green Car welcomed the latest news: "Today's announcement provides a clear signal that the Government is highly committed to supporting the ULEV market in the UK. Car buyers will benefits from the continuing Plug-in Car and Van Grants and the expansion of the national charging network. Manufacturers will also welcome the long term commitment to ULEVs enabling them to plan for and develop a strong manufacturing base in the UK."

Details of the scheme to support ULEV taxis will also be announced in autumn 2014 and support for low emissions buses will continue to be supported through the Department for Transport's Green Bus Fund.

The Government also laid out its support for hydrogen and natural gas refuelling infrastructure which has been identified as a significant barrier to the uptake of fuel cell vehicles and gas fuelled HGVs. An announcement on this is to be made no later than autumn 2014.

To access the full announcement, click here.

Office for Low Emission Vehicles

Peter Thomas

Author:Peter Thomas
Date Updated:29th Apr 2014

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