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New infrastructure to support electric cars in UK cities

By raccars Published

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The next stage in the government's Go Ultra Low scheme: new infrastructure for electric cars.

The Go Ultra Low campaign, designed to encourage and support the uptake of ultra low emissions vehicles, is to release £40 million of funding to eight UK cities to help them develop and extend charging infrastructure for electric cars.

£40 million shared between eight cities

The eight UK cities were invited to pledge their commitment to supporting low emissions vehicles in order to receive a share of the £40 million investment. The 'Go Ultra Low Cities' will use the cash to install new charging points and give drivers incentives to buy ultra low emissions cars.

London will create what it calls 'Neighbourhoods of the Future' with a £13 million share of the fund, in which electric cars in certain boroughs of the capital will receive parking priority and traffic flow privileges. Milton Keynes will receive £9 million to build an Electric Vehicle Experience Centre, an educational programme to explain the benefits of ultra low emissions vehicles to the public and to offer short term electric vehicle loans. Milton Keynes will also experiment with prioritising ULEVs in traffic congestion and making 20,000 parking spaces free to use for electric cars.

Bristol will use its £7 million to allow ULEVs to use car pool lanes and create a plug-in vehicle leasing scheme. An extra 230 electric vehicle charging points will be available in Derby and Nottinghamshire thanks to £6 million of funding, where ULEV owners will also receive discounts on parking. Local businesses will be given the opportunity to trial EVs with a view to buying them for their fleets. That leaves £5 million which will be shared between projects to encourage electric vehicle use in the North East, Dundee, Oxford and York, such as a new park and ride system which uses solar power in York and new charging points in Dundee.

Electric cars: the future of motoring in the UK

The Government is hoping to prompt a clean motoring revolution country-wide, encouraging thousands more car drivers to switch to ultra low emissions vehicles. Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, has announced a plan to invest £600 million into clean and green motoring in the UK in the next four years, with the aim of keeping the country at the forefront of low emissions technology and increasing the number of ULEVs on British roads to 100,000.

The result should be cleaner air and new employment opportunities, building up to a goal of making every new car sold in the UK a ULEV by 2040. £400 million of the money ring fenced for the project is to be used for low emissions public transport projects, plug-in car grants and research and development.

Motorway signs to notify drivers of EV charging points

Meanwhile, electric car charging points are to be added to motorway information signs for the first time. The first company to get its logo on the blue signs is Ecotricity, which has 260 charging points spread over the UK's motorway network. The first Ecotricity logo is already in place at Roadchef Sedgemoor, North Canes and Hamilton will be next until every one of the 28 Roadchef motorway signs features an Ecotricity logo.

This will no doubt make life easier for the 50,000 drivers of electric cars in the UK. However, the founder of Ecotricity, Dale Vince, believes that the Government should be pushing even harder to phase out fossil fuels. He would like to accelerate the Go Ultra Low campaign by ten years, to make all cars sold in the UK ultra low emissions by 2030, and to ban any combustion engined vehicles from British roads by 2040 - a view which is unlikely to find favour with classic car owners.

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