UK revs up ‘green’ car industry with £500m fund

The ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) industry is getting a huge boost, thanks to a £500 million funding announced today. The cash, to be spent between 2015 and 2020, is the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) industry is getting a huge boost, thanks to a £500 million funding announced today.

The cash, to be spent between 2015 and 2020, is the Government’s latest effort to tempt more people into buying low emission cars as well as help put Britain at the forefront of green technology.

At least £200 million of the total fund will be used to extend the current Plug-in Car grants of up to £5,000 off upfront costs in order to encourage more people to use ULEVs.

Around £32 million will be used to boost the UK’s charging infrastructure, which includes installing a rapid charge point at every motorway service station by the end of this year and a network of 500 rapid charges across the country by March 2015.

Local authorities will also be able to bid for a share of an extra £35 million for innovative charging plans and another £50 million for local areas to invest in cleaner taxis and buses.

A total of £100 million will be invested in research and development in ULEV in a bid to “cement the UK’s position as a leader in the development of these technologies”.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “The UK has the potential to emerge as a world leader in the development, design and manufacture of green vehicles. Owning an electric car is no longer a dream or an inconvenience. Manufacturers are turning to this new technology to help motorists make their everyday journeys green and clean.

“This major investment is there to make driving an electric car affordable, convenient and free from anxiety about the battery running out. But it’s also about creating a culture change in our towns and cities so that driving a greener vehicle is a no-brainer for most drivers.”

Full details of each scheme will be published by autumn this year.