A new strategy to roll-out £500 million of funding to support the development and adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK has been launched.
The Government is calling on businesses to submit suggestions on how best to distribute the cash between 2015 and 2020 as it aims for every new car to “effectively be zero emission” by 2050.
The new strategy is expected to speed the transition to low-emission vehicles, boost jobs and improve air quality and energy security in the country.
The announcement follows a £10 million competition launched earlier this year to develop ultra-low emission cars that can compete with oil or gas powered vehicles.
Transport Minister Norman Baker (pictured, right) said: “These are exciting times for the motoring industry as ultra-low emission vehicles are the future for road travel. Our vision is that by 2050 almost every car and van will be an ultra-low emission vehicle with the UK at the forefront of their design, development and manufacture. This strategy moves us up a gear in pursuing that vision.
“As well as huge opportunities for the automotive sector, this will bring life-changing benefits to our towns and cities improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions and it will provide energy security by reducing our reliance on foreign oil imports.”
Around a quarter of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in the UK come from transport and reducing it is expected to help the nation achieve its target of cutting total emissions by at least 80% – compared to 1990 levels – by 2050.
The UK is the fourth largest automotive producer in Europe worth £11.2 billion to the UK economy. A total of 80% of this production is exported and total production is expected to rise to more than £2 million by 2017.
London Mayor Boris Johnson has proposed plans to have the “world’s first” Ultra Low Emission Zone in the capital.