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UK Govt's £35 million boost for ultra low emission vehicles

A major £35 million package to further boost the uptake of ultra-low emission cars and scooters in the UK was unveiled by Transport Minister John Hayes today.

The new funding commitment will see thousands more electric vehicle charge points installed on streets and at workplaces across the UK – after the number of new ultra low emission vehicles registered rose by 250% in just 2 years. The funding is being delivered as part of the UK government’s commitment to invest £600 million in ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020.

The government is also buying 2 brand new Nissan LEAF electric cars for the Government Car Service – on top of 4 that are already in use. The vehicles are built at the Nissan motor manufacturing plant in Sunderland - a symbol of our world-leading automotive industry which the government is committed to supporting.

The announcement is part of the government’s plans to improve air quality, and it comes as Defra launch a new consultation on introducing clean air zones in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by 2020 - delivering on the government’s commitment to create cleaner air and reduce emissions.

At the launch, Transport Minister John Hayes said: "No matter what mode of transport you need - a scooter to get to work, a car or a van to run your business - we are here to help you do it with zero emissions. The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads are at record levels and new registrations have risen by 250% in just over 2 years.

"We are committing £35 million to help install new charge points and offer new grants as we aim for nearly all cars and vans on our roads to be zero emission by 2050."

The funding announced today includes:
* Next steps of £20m competition for councils roll out charge points for ultra-low emission taxis
* Up to £10m for charge points at workplaces and homes with no off-street parking
* Launch of initial £3.75m to encourage uptake of zero emission motorcycles and scooters
* £2m for public and private sector organisations to deploy hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

The pioneering £20 million pot to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission taxis is the first of its kind, and will give councils the opportunity to apply for funds to install charge points to be used by local taxi fleets.

A £7.5 million workplace charging scheme, due to be launched this autumn, will be open to eligible private and public sector workplaces in the UK to support the installation of charging infrastructure for their staff and fleet use.

The vast majority of electric car owners charge their vehicles at home – which is not always practical for people without driveways. A further £2.5 million is being made available to councils who commit to installing charge points on streets near homes without private off-street parking.

In addition, an initial £3.75 million is being made available for motorcycle and scooter riders who want to want to go green, providing them with up to 20% off the cost of an electric motorcycle or scooter. Buyers will be able to claim a maximum discount of £1,500.

We are also revealing the winners of our hydrogen fuel cell vehicles fleet competition. Fourteen public and private sector fleets from around the country – city councils, emergency authorities, car hire firms and the Science Museum amongst them - will receive a share of £2 million for a total of 50 hydrogen-fuelled cars and vans, more than doubling the number of these types of vehicles on UK’s roads.

The government has already taken great strides in getting organisations around the UK to switch to zero emissions vehicles. Through the £5 million Go Ultra Low public sector fleet scheme first launched in 2014, more than 280 electric cars are already being used by councils, hospitals and emergency services across England and Wales, as well as government departments.

Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Image: Siemens rapid charger

Ben Lane

Author:Ben Lane
Date Updated:13th Oct 2016

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