The £9.3m funding will be used to create hundreds more charging points across the country, including 140 new rapid chargepoints which can charge an electric car in less than half an hour.

According to the Government, the funding will “cement the UK’s position as one of the best for electric vehicle recharging networks in Europe”.

Clegg made the announcement today at the launch of a joint campaign with car manufacturers to promote the benefits of ultra-low emission vehicles.

Major car manufacturers backing the Government’s Go Ultra Low campaign include BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall.

The partnership aims to “debunk common myths and misconceptions” that put drivers off switching to electric or hybrid cars, such as cost and how far the vehicles can travel before being recharged.

Speaking at the launch, Clegg said: “Electric cars are one of the most promising of our green industries and we want to secure the UK’s position as a global leader in both the production and adoption of these vehicles”.

Clegg added that the investment would help lower UK emissions and create high-tech engineering and manufacturing jobs to boost the UK’s economy.

Commenting on the campaign, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes, said: “This is a significant development as Government and some of the country’s leading automotive brands pool resources to fund a campaign that will raise awareness of the benefits and capabilities of these new technologies.

“The Go Ultra Low campaign will help the public understand how these new cars work and how they could be a perfect fit for their personal, business or fleet needs. Given the importance of running costs and environmental performance to new car buyers, we hope the campaign will encourage more people to consider going ultra low,” added Hawes.

There are currently more than 6,000 public chargepoints across the UK.

According to figures from the Energy Saving Trust (EST), London based businesses could save £200m if 10% of their vans registered in the capital were replaced with electric models..

Leigh Stringer

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