Government to drive ULEV take-up under Go Ultra Low scheme
Dubbed Go Ultra Low, the 12-month campaign will see £9.3m of funding used to create hundreds more charging points across the country, including 140 new rapid charge points which can charge an electric car in less than half an hour. The funding will come from the £37m for electric vehicle infrastructure announced in July 2013 and is intended to ‘cement the UK’s position as one of the best for electric vehicle recharging networks in Europe’.
The Government has also committed to the previously announced investment of £5m to introduce electric vehicles across government and wider public sector fleets this year.
Meanwhile, grants of £2.9m will be awarded to public sector organisations to install more than 450 charge points on their own estate for their staff, fleets and visitors. The public sector is seeking to lead by example by demonstrating commitment to ultra-low emission transport. The successful organisations include a central government department (MOD), two of the devolved administrations (Scotland and Northern Ireland), Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, a number of NHS trusts, two fire and rescue services (Devon and Somerset, and London), a police force (Gloucestershire), and several local authorities.
In addition, funding of £600,000 will be used for 80 more charge points at train station car parks, making it easier for commuters and other rail users to cut the environmental impact of their whole journey.
And a new website, www.GoUltraLow.com, has been launched to provide a one-stop-shop for information about owning and running one of these vehicles, the makes and models available and the locations of the thousands of publically available charge points.
Nick Clegg said: ‘Electric cars are one of the most promising of our green industries and we want to secure the UK’s position as a global leader in both the production and adoption of these vehicles.
‘The extremely low running costs of electric cars help drivers save money and we are allocating more than £9m to boost chargepoints across the country to help drivers to go green.
‘This means we can lower UK emissions and create high-tech engineering and manufacturing jobs to boost our economy.’
The announcement came as the deputy prime minister visited iconic transport venue Ace Cafe, just off the North Circular in North West London, where he met with managing directors, staff and apprentices from leading motoring companies BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall, all of whom are backing the scheme.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has greeted the announcement. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘This is a significant development as government and some of the country’s leading automotive brands pool resources to fund a campaign that will raise awareness of the benefits and capabilities of these new technologies. The Go Ultra Low campaign will help the public understand how these new cars work and how they could be a perfect fit for their personal, business or fleet needs. Given the importance of running costs and environmental performance to new car buyers, we hope the campaign will encourage more people to consider going ultra low.’