A major £35 million package to boost the uptake of ultra-low emission cars and scooters has been unveiled by Transport Minister John Hayes.
The fresh funding commitment will see thousands more electric vehicle chargepoints installed on streets and at workplaces across the UK – after the number of new ultra low emission vehicles registered rose by 250% in just 2 years.
The announcement is part of the government’s plans to improve air quality, and it comes as Defra launch a new consultation on introducing clean air zones in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by 2020 – delivering on the government’s commitment to create cleaner air and reduce emissions.
Transport Minister John Hayes said: “No matter what mode of transport you need – a scooter to get to work, a car or a van to run your business – we are here to help you do it with zero emissions.
“We are committing £35 million to help install new chargepoints and offer new grants as we aim for nearly all cars and vans on our roads to be zero emission by 2050.”
The funding announced today includes:
- next steps of a £20 million competition that will help councils roll out chargepoints for ultra-low emission taxis
- up to £10 million funding for chargepoints outside workplaces and homes where there is no off-street parking
- launch of an initial £3.75 million scheme to encourage uptake of zero emission motorcycles and scooters
- £2 million awarded to public and private sector organisations to deploy hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
The funding is being delivered as part of the government’s commitment to invest £600 million in ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020.
The pioneering £20 million pot to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission taxis is the first of its kind, and will give councils the opportunity to apply for funds to install chargepoints to be used by local taxi fleets.
A £7.5 million workplace charging scheme, due to be launched this autumn, will be open to eligible private and public sector workplaces in the UK to support the installation of charging infrastructure for their staff and fleet use.
The vast majority of electric car owners charge their vehicles at home – which is not always practical for people without driveways. A further £2.5 million is being made available to councils who commit to installing chargepoints on streets near homes without private off-street parking.
In addition, an initial £3.75 million is being made available for motorcycle and scooter riders who want to want to go green, providing them with up to 20% off the cost of an electric motorcycle or scooter. Buyers will be able to claim a maximum discount of £1,500.
The government has already taken great strides in getting organisations around the UK to switch to zero emissions vehicles. Through the £5 million Go Ultra Low public sector fleet scheme first launched in 2014, more than 280 electric cars are already being used by councils, hospitals and emergency services across England and Wales, as well as government departments.