Electric car sales are expected to receive a boost in the form of a £40 million government package to improve the EV infrastructure in eight key locations.
Free parking, access to bus lanes and electric car experience centres are expected to be among the benefits for residents in Bristol, London, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Dundee, the North East, Oxford and York sharing seed funding for EV specific projects.
It is also expected to prompt a rise in sales for car dealerships, further developing EV sales after the UK saw demand for electric vehicles rise by 48% to nearly 10,000 vehicles in 2015.
Cities secured funding for the new EV infrastructure package by pledging innovative ideas and as part of the initiative will deliver a roll-out of cutting edge technology, such as rapid-charging hubs and street lighting that can double as charging points.
The initiatives proposed by the Go Ultra Low Cities are set to boost plug-in car numbers by around 100,000 across the UK by 2020, with these cities acting as best practice case studies for other UK regions to echo.
Transport Secretary Patrick 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.”
Among the successful cities’ bids, London was awarded £13 million to create ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’, prioritising ULEVs in several boroughs.
Milton Keynes, meanwhile, will receive £9 million to open a city centre Electric Vehicle Experience Centre, a ‘one stop shop’ providing consumer advice and short-term vehicle loans.
Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low said: “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.”