£40 million awarded to fund green car revolution

Four UK cities have been awarded a total of £40 million to promote green vehicle technology after successfully bidding for a share of a multimillion fund created to support the take-up of plug-in electric cars.

The cities include Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London and were announced as the winners by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin at the Go Ultra Low City Scheme. The funding was awarded to cities which have designed schemes that will help encourage significantly more people to switch to plug-in vehicles, in order to improve air quality in urban areas and help the government meet its emission cutting targets.

The selected cities will deliver cutting edge technology such as rapid-charging hubs and street lighting that will double as charge points. The cities will also consider a range of innovative proposals that will give plug-in car owners extra local privileges such as access to bus lanes in city centres. An estimated 25,000 extra parking spaces will be opened up, exclusively for plug-in car owners, saving commuters up to £1,300 annually.

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 £40 million 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 £600 million 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.”

The Go Ultra Low Cities announcement specified that: London would be awarded £13 million to create ‘Neighbourhoods of the future’ prioritising ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in several boroughs across the capital; Milton Keynes will receive £9 million to open a city centre Electric Vehicle Experience Centre — a ‘one stop shop’ providing consumer advice and short-term vehicles loans; Bristol willl get £7 million to offer residents free residential parking for ULEVs, access to three carpool lanes in the city, over 80 rapid and fast chargers across the city and a scheme encouraging people to lease a plug-in car for up to four weeks to help them better understand the range of benefits that electric vehicles bring; and Nottinghamshire and Derby will use £6 million of funding to install 230 charge points and offer ULEV owners discount parking and access to over 13 miles of bus lanes along key routes across the city.

The scheme will also provide £5 million for specific green initiatives in Dundee, Oxford, York and north east areas to to help the regions kick-start a country-wide clean motoring revolution.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low said: “We’re excited to see the innovative ideas put forward by each of the winning Go Ultra Low Cities become reality over the coming months. The £40 million investment by government, combined with funds from each winning area, will transform the roads for residents in and around the four Go Ultra Low Cities.

“With thousands more plug-in cars set to be sold, cutting running costs for motorists and helping the environment, this investment will help to put the UK at the forefront of the global ultra-low emissions race. Initiatives such as customer experience centres, free parking, permission to drive in bus lanes and hundreds of new, convenient public charging locations are sure to appeal to drivers and inspire other cities and local authorities to invest in the electric revolution.”