Electric cars: £43m boost for infrastructure and innovation

Hospitals, train stations and A-roads are among the locations set to benefit from new electric car charge points thanks to a new £43m green vehicle commitment from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer today (26 February) announced details of the funding, which includes £32m of infrastructure support up to 2020 and £11m of funding for 15 ultra-low-emission vehicle (ULEV) projects spanning 50 organisations.

Kramer said: “The funding announced today marks another milestone in the government’s support for ultra-low emission vehicles as their popularity takes off. The public will find it even easier to charge their cars when they are out and about thanks to our £8m commitment to support new charge points across key locations in our towns and cities.

“Our support to the ULEV industry will help ensure the innovation that is a hallmark of the British automotive industry will continue to drive development in this vital growth sector.”

Infrastructure priorities

The £32m of infrastructure support will encompass £15m towards the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which sees ULEV drivers receive a 75% grant of up to £700 towards installation from 13 April 2015.

A further £8m will go towards charge points at ‘key locations’ on major roads in towns and cities, while the remaining £9m of the money will address ‘other infrastructure priorities’ such as accessibility. Futher details on this will be announced later in the year.

Meanwhile, the £11m research and development funding will go towards an array of green vehicle projects which include the creation of recycled carbon fibre material that will bring lightweight chassis structures to the mass market, and the development of a zero-emission electric bus with hydrogen fuel cell range extender at a fraction of the cost of the current generation of hydrogen buses.

This new funding announcement marks another milestone in the government’s support for green vehicles as the popularity of ULEVs continues to rise. 2014 saw ‘remarkable surge’ in demand in the UK, with sales of plug-in hybrid cars increasing four-fold.

The Government is working closely with carmakers on the Go Ultra Low campaign, to assist in its aim for ULEVs to account for every new vehicle on the road by 2040. More than £500m is being invested between 2015 and 2020 to boost the ULEV industry and help drivers afford the transition.

Sustainable transport at Sustainability Live 2015

The evolution of transport technology will be discussed in detail at Sustainability Live 2015 in April, with a session at the Energy Efficiency theatre focusing on biofuels, hydrogen and electrification and how this roadmap can be used to time fleet upgrades and changes.

The seminar will also use a series of case studies to explore both technologies, employees engagement, alternative transport modes and fleet optimisation.

Register to attend Sustainability Live 2015 for FREE here.

Luke Nicholls

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