Government launches second phase of £5m ultra-low emission vehicle scheme

Up to 35 public sector organisations are being given the chance to bid for funding from a £5m scheme to support ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), as part of a drive to get electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles into the fleets of central government.

The first phase of the scheme, announced last year, saw 15 Government departments launch reviews of their vehicle fleets and around 150 vehicles will begin to enter fleets from February. The second phase expects to see 200 plug-in vehicles introduced to the fleets of other public sector organisations such as the police, fire services and NHS.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “We want the public sector to lead by example. This £5m investment will see a significant increase in the number of plug-in vehicles used by public bodies such as local authorities, police forces and the NHS and help both the environment and the economy. I look forward to seeing the results.”

ULEV roll-out

The new £5m funding is in addition to £500m announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in April last year which includes:

> at least £200m to continue the Plug In Car Grant, which cuts the price of a new ULEV by £5,000
> £100m for research and development
> £35m cities scheme, to increase the uptake of ULEVs
> £20m to encourage ULEV taxis
> £30m to boost the low emission bus market
> £32m for more charge-points

The UK automotive industry is a very lucrative sector, currently worth more than £11bn to the economy.

ULEVs have increased in popularity in the last year, with 2014 sales four times greater than those in 2013. In 2014, more than 1% of new cars sold in October and November were ULEVs and 1 in 78 cars sold in December was a ULEV.

The UK Government is also supporting the Go Ultra Low campaign, supported by manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Toyota, to help fleets and motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of ULEVs.

Lois Vallely

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