Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London named as winners in Department for Transport’s electric car project
Four UK cities will share a £40m government fund to help promote the government’s drive for the rollout of electric cars.
Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London were revealed today as the winners of the Department for Transport’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme, and will now split the prize fund to help support the introduction of environmentally-friendly cars in their cities.
Among the new projects set to be funded are new street lights that double as charge points for electric vehicles, and making around 25,000 parking spaces free for plug-in car owners, which could save commuters up to £1,300 per year.
London will use its £13m share of the fund to create ‘Neighbourhoods of the future’, which look to prioritising ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in several boroughs across the capital. This includes over a dozen streets in Hackney going electric with charging infrastructure such as car-charging street lighting, while Harrow will develop a low emission zone offering parking and traffic priority to owners of plug-in vehicles
The capital is aiming to sell 70,000 ULEVs by 2020 and almost quarter of a million by 2025.
Milton Keynes will receive £9m to open a Electric Vehicle Experience Centre that will provide consumer advice and short-term vehicles loans. The city will also open up 20,000 parking bays for free to EVs, and create new ‘co-brand’ bus lanes which give plug-in vehicles the same priority at traffic lights as local buses.
Bristol gets £7m towards offering residents free parking for ULEVs in residential, 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.
Finally, Nottinghamshire and Derby will use £6m 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. It will also open up a new business support programme letting local companies ‘try before they buy’, which it hopes will also drive interest in the vehicles.
The Government also hopes that the fund will lead to the creation and support of 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.
“These Go Ultra Low Cities have proposed exciting, innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car,” said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. “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.”
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