Four UK cities have been awarded funds from a £40 million government project today (Monday 25th January) as the Go Ultra Low City Scheme has been launched to encourage the uptake of plug-in cars. Bristol, London, Milton Keynes and Nottingham each successfully bid for a share of the funds, with new technology and policies set to be trialled in each city.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the winners, saying:
“These Go Ultra Low Cities have proposed exciting, innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car. 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.”
London has been awarded the largest proportion of the money with £13 million allocated to create “Neighbourhoods of the future”, prioritising ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in a number of boroughs across the city. Plans include installing car-charging street lighting in a number of streets in Hackney to improve access to charging points, while Harrow will develop its own low emission zone with parking and traffic priorities given to owners of plug-in vehicles.
These projects will aim to help London have around a quarter of a million ULEVs on the capital’s roads by 2025 and plans to use ideas and incentives to encourage uptake. Similar plans put in place in Norway have seen the country become one of the most successful in the world in terms of ULEV uptake for residents.
Milton Keynes will use its £9 million fund to open an Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in the city centre. This will provide a one-stop shop for both potential and existing ULEV customers, with advice, and short term vehicle loans available. The city will also set-up all 20,000 parking spaces for free use by electric vehicle owners, and allow ULEVs the use of bus lanes too.
Bristol has been awarded £7 million for its plans to offer residents free residential parking for ULEVs in the city, along with access to three car pool lanes across the centre to improve traffic flow and air quality. More than 80 rapid and fast chargers across Bristol will also be available for use and a scheme to allow residents to lease a plug-in car for up to four weeks is intended to allow potential customers to see what they are like to live with day to day.
Read more: Next Green Car