London, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Nottingham are among eight UK cities to receive £40 million government funding aimed at increasing uptake of electric cars.
The funding comes under the umbrella of the government-backed Go Ultra Low campaign and will support ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) infrastructure development and incentives in the eight cities.
London receives £13 million to create ‘Neighbourhoods of Future’ that will give ULEVs parking and traffic priority in several boroughs.
Milton Keynes gets £9 million to create an Electric Vehicle Experience Centre, which will offer advice and short-term loans to anyone considering buying a ULEV. All 20,000 parking spaces within the city will also be available to electric cars for free, and they will be able to use bus lanes.
Bristol will use its £7 million to allow ULEVs to use carpool lanes and start a plug-in car leasing scheme. And Nottingham and Derby plan to spend £6 million on 230 charging points, offering discount parking and allowing access to bus lanes.
The remaining £5 million will be split between Dundee, Oxford, York and the North East to help kick-start their schemes, including charging hubs and solar-powered park and ride stations.
“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 £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.”
Go Ultra Low head, Poppy Welch, 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.”
According to Go Ultra Low, more than 28,000 electric cars were sold in the UK in 2015, an increase of 94% on the previous year. Taking other types of plug-in car into account, that number rises to almost 73,000, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
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By Only Motors