The UK government will invest £40 million in projects to boost the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK. London, Nottingham, Bristol and Milton Keynes will get the lion’s share of this investment after being announced the winners of a Go Ultra Low scheme based upon their proposals to encourage local residents to consider switching to a plug-in car. Elsewhere, the scheme is also providing £5 million of development funding for specific initiatives in Dundee, Oxford, York and north east regions to help them play their part in kick-starting a UK-wide clean motoring revolution.
Each main prize winning city was awarded a share of the fund for implementing cutting edge technology such as rapid-charging hubs and Light & Charge technology from BMW – a smart LED street lamp which doubles up as an electric vehicle charging point. Oxford, home to MINI and Plant Oxford where the majority of MINIs are produced will get £800,000 to trial different charging options.
The government believes these innovations will not only support the UK’s thriving green vehicle sector but improve air quality in urban hotspots and will broadly help the government meet its emission cutting targets. Plug-in-car owners also benefit from local privileges from the scheme. Access to bus lanes in city centers, up to 25,000 free parking spaces, which could save commuters as much as £1,300 a year, a large growth in charging stations and discounted leasing schemes will all be on offer.
Transport for London aims to have 70,000 ULEVs a year sold by 2020 and almost quarter of a million by 2025.