The government is inviting local authorities to submit bids for a share of a £35 million pot that it has set aside to promote the adoption of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in cities.
The fund will be available to the four cities who submit the best proposals. Cities can use the fund to support a number of measures including installing EV infrastructure, introducing low emission zones etc.
Commenting on the new fund, transport minister Baroness Kramer said: “This £35 million funding is an unequivocal signal from government that we are committed to improving air quality and making ultra-low emission vehicles a practical and viable choice for more people.
“I would like to encourage local authorities to take up this fantastic opportunity. This can help to transform people’s quality of life in their cities and build a stronger economy.
“The ‘Go Ultra Low City Scheme’ complements other schemes to support low emission vehicles schemes, such as the £30 million bus scheme and the £20 million taxi scheme. It amounts to a comprehensive package of government support to encourage more environmentally friendly travel.”
The UK government has committed to ensuring that all new vehicles have some sort of ULEV element by 2040, noting that there has been a steady increase in ULEV ownership in the UK.
The government claims that there are now over 7,000 public EV charging points across almost 3,000 locations. It predicts that the end of 2015 will see almost every motorway service station equipped with a rapid charger.
Local authorities have until 20 February 2015 to submit their bids, with shortlisted cities invited to submit final bids by the end of August. The winners of the fund will be announced in Autumn 2015.