Sector - Software & Technology

Four cities awarded £40M fund to encourage drivers to go green

Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London have been named as winners of multi-million fund to drive green car revolution across UK cities.

After successful bidding for a share of the £40M funding created to support the take-up of plug-in electric cars across the UK, four cities have today been awarded the funds to promote green vehicle technology.

The winners of the Go Ultra Low City scheme were announced by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, after they designed schemes that will help encourage thousands of people to consider switching to a plug-in car.

The government competition will support the UK’s thriving green vehicle sector, improve air quality in urban hotspots and help the government meet its emission cutting targets.

The four cities will deliver cutting edge technology, such as rapid charging hubs and street lighting that double as charge points, along with a range of innovative proposals that will give privileges to plug-in car owners, such as access to bus lanes in city centres.

Around 25,000 parking spaces will also be opened up for plug-in car owners saving commuters as much as £1,300 a year.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “These Go Ultra Low Cities have proposed exciting, innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car. I want to see thousands more greener vehicles on our roads and I am proud to back this ambition with £40M to help the UK become international pioneers of emission cutting technology.

“The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600M by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040.”

As part of the Go Ultra Low Cities announcement, London is awarded £13M to create “Neighbourhoods of the future” making ultra-slow emission vehicles priority in several boroughs across the capital. Streets in Hackney will introduce electric charging street lighting, while Harrow will develop a low emission zone offering parking and traffic priority to owners of plug-in vehicles. London’s proposals aim to deliver 70,000 ULEVs sold by 2020.

A total of £9M will go to Milton Keynes, to open a city centre Electric Vehicle Experience Centre, a “one stop shop” providing customer advice and short-term vehicle loan, along with 20,000 free parking bays for EVs and co-brand bus lanes.

Bristol have £7M to offer free parking for ULEV’s, access to three carpool lanes, 80 rapid and fast chargers across the city and a scheme to encourage people to lease a plug-in car for up to four weeks to help them understand the benefits of electric vehicles.

Nottinghamshire and Derby will use £6M of funding to install 230 chargepoints and offer ULEV owners discount parking and over 13 miles of bus lanes across key routes of the city.

The funding will also support highly skilled jobs in the automotive industry, by encouraging the sale of thousands of extra plug-in cars, many of which will be built and tested in the UK.

The Go Ultra Low Cities fund is just one element of a comprehensive £600 million package of measures from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles by 2020, which also includes £400M of guaranteed money for individual plug-in car grants, investment in low emission buses and taxis, and research and development funding for innovative technology such as lighter vehicles and longer-lasting car batteries.