UK towns share £40m electric car fund

Bristol, London, Milton Keynes and Nottingham have been awarded a share of a £40m fund to promote electric cars, the Department of Transport has announced.

As part of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme, they set out a number of proposals to encourage the uptake of electric cars, such as building charge points into street lights, access to bus lanes and freeing up 25,000 parking spaces for electric cars.

‘I want to see thousands more greener vehicles and I am proud to back this ambition with £40m to help the UK become pioneers of emission-cutting technology,’ said the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin.

‘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.’

London will receive £13m to introduce charging infrastructure to over a dozen streets in Hackney, Milton Keynes will get £9m to develop an information centre for potential consumers and make 20,000 parking bays for free to electric vehicles.

Bristol will use £7m to introduce free residential parking for electric vehicles while Nottingham and Derby will use £6m to install 230 charge points and promote the use of electric vehicles among businesses.

As part of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme Oxford, Dundee, York and the n north east will also get £5m to develop similar initiatives.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: ‘We welcome the extra money to upgrade charging infrastructure. The RAC believes it is important that motorists see the benefits of electric vehicles and investing in the necessary infrastructure in cities and across the network will surely help to give motorists more confidence in switching to a greener vehicle.

‘It seems far more sensible that low emission zones should reward drivers who go green rather than penalise drivers of existing vehicles. It is therefore important that local authorities do not see this as a tool to impose surcharges on diesel vehicles.’