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Government sharpens AFV technology focus with £100m investment

Prime Minister Theresa May

Government will sharpen its focus on AFV technology with an additional £100 million investment in low emission technology aiming to pave the way to its Road to Zero plan.

Prime minister Theresa May told yesterday’s Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham, where she said that the cash would be handed to innovators in ultra-low-emission vehicles and hydrogen technology.

May said: “We are investing in the design, development and infrastructure needed to speed up the uptake of green vehicles. We are providing £1.5 billion for ultra-low-emission vehicles by 2020, and creating a £400 million fund to invest in the roll-out of charging point infrastructure, in partnership with industry.

“We have legislated to ensure charge points can be easily accessed and available at motorway service stations and other petrol stations.

“We will consult on the introduction of green number plates – and how they might be used to promote clean vehicles and increase their use.

“We are providing a £2 million grant for e-Cargo bikes, creating a zero-emission option for last mile deliveries.

“And today we have provided over £100 million of funding for innovators in ultra-low-emission vehicles and hydrogen technology. With a further £500 million of investment from key industries in this sector, creating over 1,000 jobs across the UK.”

The newly-announced Government funding, totalling £106 million, includes £25m for developing batteries for electric vehicles, £20 million towards a hydrogen supply competition and £22 million for the Integrated Delivery Programme, supporting universities’ and businesses’ research.

A further £500 million of investment in projects relating to low emission technology will come from key industries

But the director general of the CBI, Carolyn Fairbairn, joined many other industry commentators in suggesting that affordability has a significant role to play in motorists shift towards EVs.

Fairbairn said: “It’s here that Government has a vital role to play. Through making vehicles affordable and by joining forces with business to invest in charge points across our road networks.

“Governments can help design the zero-emission vehicle ecosystem that makes the low-emission choice the easy choice.”

The National Franchised Dealers Association welcomed yesterday’s announcement by Theresa May. NFDA director Sue Robinson said: “It is extremely positive to see that the UK government has committed to invest £106 million towards the development of low and zero emission vehicles.

“In order to improve air quality standards and ensure a consistent uptake of low emission vehicles, significant investments are imperative, and today’s announcement is encouraging.

“Co-operation is key and NFDA will continue to work alongside the government and other industry partners towards the creation of a favourable retail environment, where our members will meet the growing consumer demand for low and zero emission vehicles”.


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