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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

£500 million made available to get more drivers into ultra low emission vehicles

The government has announced it will invest £500 million over the next five years to help boost the ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) industry and help drivers both afford and feel confident using electric cars.

On launching the initiative, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, indicated the investment will create jobs, reduce emissions and set the agenda for the motoring industry, for our towns and cities, and for motorists, so that Britain remains at the forefront of green technology.

Overseen by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), key areas to receive funding will include:

• £200m for the continuation of the Plug-in Car Grant, securing the government contribution of up to £5,000 towards the cost of qualifying, new ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

• £35m for a new scheme whereby local areas coming up with the most ULEV friendly plans can win a share of a £35 million pot to make the leap to becoming ultra low. Examples would include free parking for Electric Vehicles, free use of bus lanes for Electric Vehicles etc.

• £32m funding boost to help build an infrastructure of rapid-charge pints on "M" and "A" roads, meaning electric vehicles could be charged in as little as 20 minutes.

• £100m being invested in ULEV Research and Development to ensure the UK stays a world leader in the development of these technologies.

Speaking at the announcement, Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT) Chief Executive, commented, “The move towards a low carbon vehicle future must be built around the three pillars of consumer incentives, strategically focused infrastructure and increased leverage for R&D support. We therefore welcome this announcement which reflects that balanced approach but, significantly, seek to incentivise technical developments in all segments of road transport, not just passenger cars." says:

The announcement of this extra package of support from the Government is a welcome boost for the burgeoning ULEV industry, but as Mike Hawes from the SMMT comments, any proposals and incentives need to be considered alongside an entire future transport solution for the UK, not just passenger cars.

Furthermore, the Government added at the end of the announcement they would be publishing further details about support for Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles at the end of the year and it's encouraging to see they haven't forgotten other technologies in the rush towards electrification.

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