Theresa May addresses Zero Emission Vehicle Summit

The Zero Emission Vehicle Summit takes place in Birmingham today (Tuesday 11th September), with Prime Minister Theresa May announcing a £106 million funding boost for electric vehicles, and the launch of a new Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce.

Representatives from business and government from around the world have convened at the ZEV Summit to discuss ways on how the automotive industry can tackle emissions and help improve air quality.

The summit fits in with the UK Government's Road to Zero strategy, part of which sets out a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2050.

As part of these plans, a new fund will provide more than £100 million to back the development of electric vehicles, including pure-electric and hydrogen fuel cell models. The funds will boost research into zero-emission vehicles, batteries, and low carbon technology.

This fund will be supplemented by a further £500 million of investment from industry, which will create around 1,000 additional jobs across the country.

Speaking at the inaugural Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham today, the Prime Minister will state that the new fund will "drive the design, use, uptake and infrastructure necessary for cleaner, greener vehicles".

She will go on to say: "I want to see Britain, once again, leading from the front and working with industries and countries around the world to spearhead change.

"That is why I have set this country an ambitious mission. To put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero-emission by 2040."

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce was announced as part of the Road to Zero strategy in July, and look to tackle the challenges and opportunities of a UK market increasingly switching to electric vehicles.

The Taskforce will, for the first time, bring together the energy and automotive industries to plan for the changes that will take place as a result of rising electric vehicle use. Increased supply of renewable energy, plus the required storage or management that these energy supplies naturally create, will be discussed at the Summit.

It has already been decided that: "The objective of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce is to put engaging the electric vehicle user at the heart of preparing the electricity system for the mass take up of electric vehicles.

"It aims to ensure that costs and emissions are as low as possible, and opportunities for vehicles to provide grid services are capitalised upon for the benefit of the system, energy bill payers and electric vehicle owners."

Jesse Norman MP, Electric Vehicles Minister, said: "The UK is a world leader in the low emission and electric vehicle industries, and initiatives like the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce keep us at the forefront of this technology revolution.

"Bringing together government, automotive and energy sectors will help to ensure that Electric Vehicles become an integrated part of the UK energy system, and infrastructure upgrades can be planned in an efficient and sustainable way."

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Image courtesy of Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, Crown Copyright

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:11th Sep 2018

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