£500m boost for electric vehicles

The Government has announced that it will invest £500 million over five years, from 2015 to 2020, to help increase the uptake of ultra-low emission and electric vehicles across the country.
The new package of support will be administered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), and will include:

  • £200 million to maintain the £5,000 grant currently available to businesses and individuals looking to purchase an electric car
  • £30 million to incentivise the purchase of low emission vans and other larger vehicles
  • £100 million for the ongoing research and development of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), to build on the £1 billion already pledged for the next decade through the Advanced Propulsion Centre
  • £55 million for local authorities and cities offering the most competitive local development plans for low emission vehicle infrastructure
  • £32 million to expand the UK’s electric car charging network. More than 6,000 charging points are already in place and a further 500 ‘rapid’ charging points are due to be introduced by March 2015
  • £30 million to upgrade bus fleets with new low emission technologies
  • £4 million to develop a national network of refuelling stations for natural gas-fuelled HGV operators.

Further details of the £500 million investment will be released in the Autumn, but an initial summary is available to download here.
‘Culture change’
Deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, who made the announcement a fortnight ago, 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.
“This major investment is there to make driving an electric car affordable, convenient, and free from anxiety about the battery running out. But it’s also about creating a culture change in our towns and cities so that driving a greener vehicle is a no-brainer for most drivers.”
Danny Alexander, chief secretary to The Treasury, added: “Ultra-low emission vehicles bring together our most successful manufacturing sectors with our biggest long-term challenge – climate change.
“Britain can be the leading country in the world in developing, manufacturing and using ULEVs. This half billion pound government investment will help to ensure we rise to the challenge.”
‘Go Ultra Low’
Back in January, as Green Intelligence reported at the time, the Government launched a ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign to challenge myths and misconceptions that put drivers off switching to low carbon vehicles.
The campaign also highlights the benefits of owning a ULEV, such as exemption from road tax, the opportunity to use free charging points, and running costs as low as just two pence per mile.
Further information is available on the ‘Go Ultra Low’ website.

Posted under Energy Efficiency, Fuel Efficiency, Automotive and Public / Government / Charity on 13 May 2014