British Government announces EV uptake plans on World EV Day
Posted: 9 September 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
Green parking spaces, charge points at supermarkets and tourist sites, and batteries that charge in six minutes could all form part of the Government’s plans to accelerate EV uptake.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced on World EV Day (9 September 2020) a series of measures which form part of the British Government’s plans to accelerate electric vehicle (EV) uptake.
The Government is accelerating its commitment to improving air quality, driving down emissions and encouraging drivers to make the switch to greener vehicles through considering recommendations in a Government-commissioned report by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
These include charge points installed at popular destinations such as supermarkets and tourist sites, consistent and clear public signage for drivers on UK roads, or guidance to local authorities on painting EV parking spaces green.
Further steps have also been taken, with £12 million in funding for research and development (R&D) investment to support a series of competitions for some of the most promising EV technologies.
Together with Innovate UK, the funding aims to support a range of projects designed to open up significant commercial opportunities, one of which could see cars of the future benefit from a six-minute battery charge.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has also worked closely with Autotrader, a site for buying and selling cars, to develop a dedicated EV section on their website to help potential EV purchasers with their decision, with more sites expected to follow.
Shapps said: “Whether you’re taking a trip with the family or commuting to work, with the wide range of models at competitive prices, it is now more cost-effective and convenient than ever to drive and charge an electric vehicle.
“This, together with our continued support for R&D, will see talented UK-based SMEs flourish, as well as more than 6,000 skilled jobs created up and down the country.
“This is why, on the world’s first-ever day dedicated to celebrating electric vehicles, I’m delighted to announce our unwavering support for a cleaner, greener transport future.”
Furthermore, a £9.3 million scheme launched by Highways England will allow businesses to try EVs for free before they buy. The initiative is designed to encourage drivers to shift to cleaner, lower-carbon vehicles and will see local authorities encouraging businesses with diesel van fleets to make the switch to electric.
Businesses will be offered a free trial of electric vehicles for two months, following a successful launch with Leeds City Council earlier in the year.
Highways England Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan, said: “We’re pleased to be working with councils across the country to encourage businesses to make the switch to electric, and we expect many more to start using electric vehicles when they see the savings possible.
“This is just one example of how we are using dedicated funding to benefit the environment and communities alongside our roads as well as the people travelling and working on them.”
Business and Industry Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “From multi-million-pound investments in electric vehicle charging points to consulting on ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, we’re making certain that the future of UK transport is green.
“World Electric Vehicle day is a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come as we make strides towards our world-beating net-zero climate target.”