UK announces new plan to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced today on World Electric Vehicle Day (9 September 2020) the UK Government’s ambitious plan to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

Shapps revealed that the UK Government’s plan to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles includes the installation of green parking spaces, increasing the number of public charge points, and furthering the development of quick-charge batteries.

This plan follows the government’s increased commitment to improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions. Further steps to decarbonise road transport have been taken by the government, with £12m in funding to support a series of competitions for some of the most promising electric vehicle technologies. Together with Innovate UK, the funding will support a range of ground-breaking projects designed to present significant commercial opportunities, one of which aims to develop a method of charging electric vehicle batteries in six minutes.

Shapps said: “Whether you’re taking a trip with the family or commuting to work, with the wide range of models at competitive prices, it is now more cost-effective and convenient than ever to drive and charge an electric vehicle. This, together with our continued support for R&D, will see talented UK-based SMEs flourish, as well as more than 6,000 skilled jobs created up and down the country. This is why, on the world’s first-ever day dedicated to celebrating electric vehicles, I’m delighted to announce our unwavering support for a cleaner, greener transport future.”

Funding to further the adoption of electric vehicles

Highways England has launched a new £9.3m funding project to allow businesses to try electric vehicles for free before they buy. The initiative is designed to encourage drivers to shift to cleaner, lower carbon vehicles and will see local authorities encouraging businesses with diesel van fleets to make the switch to electric. Businesses will be offered a free trial of electric vehicles for two months, following a successful launch with Leeds City Council earlier in the year.

The trial with Leeds City Council saw a £2m investment from Highways England followed by a further £900,000 investment from Leeds City Council via a government grant to allow the scheme to run for two years. Each vehicle was fitted with a device that provides detailed journey and charging data, helping companies understand how they have used the vehicle and help them to make an informed decision about whether to adopt electric vehicles in their own fleet

Highways England Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan, said: “We’re pleased to be working with councils across the country to encourage businesses to make the switch to electric, and we expect many more to start using electric vehicles when they see the savings possible. This is just one example of how we are using dedicated funding to benefit the environment and communities alongside our roads as well as the people travelling and working on them.”

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