The UK government has unveiled a major £35 million package to boost the uptake of ultra-low emission cars, zero-emission morotcycles and scooters.
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 Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (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.
The announcement comes as the year-to-date plug-in car registrations total passes the sector’s full-year 2015 total. So far this year, motorists have bought 28,697 electric cars, placing 2016 ahead of last year’s January-December total of 28,188 cars with three months still to go.
Throughout this year, record numbers of owners bought-in to the low running costs and Plug-In Car Grant discounts to push the January-September total 36.7% ahead of last year. The new registration plate boosted last month’s performace to be the greatest September on record with 6,113 electric cars sold, a 56.2% year-on-year increase.
The funding 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 £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 is also buying 2 brand new Nissan LEAF electric cars for the Government Car Service – on top of 4 that are already in use.