New £12m funding package to help encourage EV use

A £12 million funding package has been announced by the Department for Transport (DfT) that will help provide more electric vehicle charging points as part of plans to increase EV usage.

The announcement, made on the first World EV Day, includes plans that could see green-coloured parking spaces, charge points at popular destinations and dedicated EV sites for buying and selling cars

Highways England to provide local authorities with £9.3 million in funding to encourage businesses to switch to electric vans

Parking spaces painted green, charge points at supermarkets and popular tourist sites, and batteries that could charge in six minutes could all form part of the government’s ambitious plans to accelerate electric vehicle uptake, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

The government is increasing its commitment to improving air quality, driving down emissions and encouraging drivers to make the switch to cleaner, greener vehicles through considering recommendations in a government-commissioned report by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

These include charge points installed at popular destinations such as supermarkets and tourist sites, consistent and clear public signage for drivers on UK roads, or guidance to local authorities on painting EV parking spaces green.

Further steps to decarbonise road transport have been taken by the government, with £12 million in funding for research and development (R&D) investment to support a series of competitions for some of the most promising EV technologies.

Together with Innovate UK, the funding will support a range of ground-breaking projects designed to open up significant commercial opportunities, one of which could see cars of the future benefit from a 6-minute battery charge.

The Department for Transport has also worked closely with Autotrader, a popular site for buying and selling cars, to develop a dedicated EV section on their website to help potential EV purchasers with their decision, with more sites expected to follow.

Transport Secretary Grant 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.”

A £9.3 million scheme launched by Highways England will 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.

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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