UK: Cities to receive financial aid to push EV growth image

Some cities in the UK, including London, will receive a governmental financial help for the development of their electric car infrastructure.

The British government plans to increase its efforts in supporting the expansion of environmental friendly vehicles throughout the country by offering extra funding to cities to further develop their electric vehicle infrastructures. Therefore, eight cities in the UK, including London, Milton Keynes and Bristol, will receive a share of the 40 million pounds (around 57 million dollars) for this “green” aim. The financial aid comes as part of the government’s Go Ultra Low campaign and will be used for developing the proper infrastructure and also as incentives in the chosen cities to increase the number of hybrid and electric vehicles.

London has been awarded 13 million pounds to create ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’, prioritising ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in several boroughs across the capital. Proposals include over a dozen streets going electric, with charging infrastructures such as car-charging street lighting, while other areas to offer parking and traffic priority to owners of plug-in vehicles. Milton Keynes will receive 9 million pounds to open a city Electric Vehicle Experience Centre – a ‘one-stop-shop’ providing consumer advice and short-term vehicles loans. The city also proposes to open up all of its 20,000 parking bays for free to electric vehicles, and will co-brand bus lanes as ‘Low Emission Lanes’, giving plug-in vehicles the same priority at traffic lights as local buses. Bristol will get 7 million pounds to offer free residential parking for ULEVs, over 80 rapid and fast chargers across the city, and a scheme encouraging people to lease a plug-in car for up to four weeks. Nottinghamshire and Derby will use 6 million pounds of funding to install 230 charge points and will offer ULEV owners discount parking, as well as access to over 13 miles of bus lanes along key routes across the cities.

In addition, the government has also set aside 5 million pounds of the total 40-million-pound fund for specific initiatives in Dundee, Oxford, York and the North East region, to push EV growth. “The UK 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,” Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 72,775 alternatively fueled vehicles (which includes hybrids and EVs) were sold in the UK last year, up by 40% on 2014’s numbers.