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Government sets out new £500m ultra-low emission vehicle strategy

Dubbed “Driving the Future Today”, the roadmap sets out five pillars to use the funding to help support ULEV take-up, including with fleets, and grow the UK economy. These cover:

Supporting the early market for ULEVs:

  • Through plug in grants or other consumer incentives 
  • By raising awareness of the benefits with a government and manufacturer-run campaign
  • By encouraging higher uptake in the public sector

Shaping the necessary infrastructure:

  • By providing investment for the installation of chargepoints in homes, railway stations and public sector car parks and rapid charge points for longer journeys
  • Exploring options for a new network of hydrogen refuelling stations to support introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles in the UK

Securing the right regulatory and fiscal measures:

  • By maintaining tax incentives for the purchase of ULEVs until at least 2020
  • Clarifying the tax position on ulevs and providing more information for fleet managers on costs
  • Working to secure ambitious but realistic EU emissions targets

Investing in UK automotive capability:

  • By working with the Automotive Council to develop and strengthen the ULEV supply chain and discussing with industry on where to target research and development funding
  • By working with partners to maximise the benefits for the UK from the move to ULEVs
  • By offering a £10m prize to develop a new long-life battery for next-generation ULEVs

Preparing the energy sector:

  • By ensuring the forthcoming national household roll-out of smart meters will support plug-in vehicle charging

The announcement of the new strategy was made by the Transport Minister during his visit to the LCV2013 event in Bedfordshire.

Norman Baker 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.’

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is now inviting industry to have a say through a call for evidence on how best to invest the £500m of funding. The call for evidence will be launched shortly.

Natalie Middleton

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