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Government reveal strategy for £500million plug-in car revolution

By Kyle Linsay
Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 13:00

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ELECTRIC: One way to slash CO2 emissions

Transport Minister Norman Baker has launched the government’s £500million strategy to drive forward the ultra-low emission vehicles industry.

The new strategy – revealed during Mr Baker’s visit to the annual LCV2013 – signals a major change in the way vehicles will be powered in the future.

A growing fleet of, and private markets for, Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) will be delivered by the government under the proposals.

Chargepoint networks and other vital infrastructure will also be prioritised, with a smarter electricity grid also set to benefit vehicle owners.

The government will also strive to develop world-class skills and facilities for ULEV technologies leading to global export.

Mr 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.

“As well as huge opportunities for the automotive sector, this will bring life-changing benefits to our towns and cities improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions and it will provide energy security by reducing our reliance on foreign oil imports.

“We recently announced in our Action for Roads paper over £500million of new capital investment between 2015 and 2020 to continue to support the development and adoption of ULEVs in the UK.

“We look forward to working with industry on how best to use this money to make the government’s vision a reality as quickly as possible.”

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will soon invite industry to express opinion on how best to invest £500million of funding to drive the revolution.

Business Minister Michael Fallon added: “The automotive industry provides thousands of high-quality jobs across the country and we are determined to keep it that way.

“By setting out the level of our financial support up to 2020 we are demonstrating our long-term commitment and giving business the confidence to invest.

“We will keep working in partnership with industry on where our investment can best drive growth as we support the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.”

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), added: “The UK must be a lead producer and market for low and ultra-low carbon vehicles.

“We’re pleased to see the strategy set out a longer term approach to the incentives, policies and initiatives which are needed to create confidence for vehicle buyers and manufacturers.

“We strongly support the collaborative approach with our industry which will help to secure the UK’s position as a leader in the development, production and use of ultra-low emission technologies.”

The strategy sets out Government’s five main aims:

Supporting the early market for ULEVs:

–     Through plug-in grants or other consumer incentives, providing certainty for investors and consumers

–     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 £10million 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

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