UK cities receive 40m funding to support electric vehicles

Cities including London, Milton Keynes and Bristol will share in a £40m funding pot designed to encourage more drivers to choose electric vehicles...

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Darren Moss
25 January 2016

UK cities receive 40m funding to support electric vehicles

Eight cities in the UK, including London, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Dundee and Oxford, will share in a funding pot worth £40 million to improve the uptake of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs).

The funding, which is being provided as part of the Government's 'Go Ultra Low' campaign, will be used on new building projects and schemes in an effort to educate the public on the benefits of ULEVs, and to give electric vehicles priority in those cities.

Initiatives which will now be given the go-ahead include prioritising parking and traffic flow for owners of ULEVs in some London boroughs and the creation of a new Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in Milton Keynes.

Other projects which will benefit from the funding include a new plug-in car leasing scheme in Bristol, and the installation of extra charging points Nottinghamshire and Derby. Most of the cities will also give priority to EVs when parking.

The Go Ultra Low campaign has already pledged to provide £600 million worth of funding to support EV development by 2020, with around £400 million of that being used for plug-in car grants, investment in low-emission buses and taxis, and research and development.

Figures released today show that electric vehicle registrations in 2015 increased by 94% compared to the previous year. The Go Ultra Low campaign wants to increase the numbers of ULEVs by around 100,000 by the end of the decade.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 72,775 alternatively fuelled vehicles - which include hydrids and EVs - were registered in 2015, up by 40% on 2014. Currently, alternatively fuelled vehicles have a 2.5% share of the UK market.

Announcing the funding today, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "These Go Ultra Low Cities have proposed exciting, innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car. I want to see thousands more greener vehicles on our roads and I am proud to back this ambition with £40 million to help the UK become international pioneers of emissions-cutting technology.

"The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600 million by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040."