£35m funding available for green vehicles

Councils are being encouraged to bid for government funding to boost the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

The £35 million package will see thousands more electric vehicle chargepoints installed on streets and at workplaces across the UK, after the number of new ULEVs registered rose by 250 per cent in just two years.

The funding includes: the 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; the launch of an initial £3.75 million scheme to encourage uptake of zero emission motorcycles and scooters; and £2 million awarded to public and private sector organisations to deploy hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Councils will now have the opportunity to apply for funds to install chargepoints to be used by local taxi fleets.

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.”

Part of Parliament’s plan to improve air quality, the announcement coincided with a new consultation on introducing clean air zones in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by 2020, launched by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The government has also announced that it is set to purchase two brand new Nissan Leaf electric cars for the Government Car Service – in addition to the four that are already in use.