Electric cars get share of £40 million government fund

Four towns and cities in the UK have been given a share of a £40 million fund in order to promote electric cars, as part of a government drive to promote a greener economy and beat congestion.

Local authorities including Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London successfully bid for the investment in technology, as announced by the Department for Transport.

A number of proposals have been produced, including street lights that double as charging docks, helping to make 25,000 parking spaces free for plug-in cars, which could save the commuter up to £1,300 a year [1].

Other suggestions include allowing ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) privileges such as access to bus lanes in city centres.

Electric cars are viewed as a significant way for the UK to lower its carbon footprint, with the number of 100% electric cars registered in 2015 nearly doubling to 9,934, compared to the previous year [2].

The Go Ultra Low City Scheme will give £13 million to London across several boroughs, in which it will see ULEVs prioritised over other vehicles. The capital is aiming to sell 70,000 ULEVs by 2020, and almost a quarter of a million by 2025 [3]. Dundee, Oxford and York will also share a £5 million fund [4].

The government also hopes the fund will lead to further creation of many skilled jobs within the automotive industry, adding to record figures of UK car demand and production.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said the money would help put the UK “at the forefront of the global ultra-low emissions race” [1].

Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has described the funds as “exciting, innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car” [5].

“The UK is a world-leader in the uptake of low-emission vehicles, and our long-term economic plan is investing £600m 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,” he added [5].


[1] BT. ‘Electric cars could be allowed in bus lanes and use street lamps to charge’.

[2] The Guardian. ‘Electric cars to use bus lanes in UK cities’.

[3] Tech Week Europe. ‘UK cities get £40m fund for electric car rollout’.

[4] Wired. ‘Electric cars to be allowed in UK bus lanes’.

[5] Sky News. ‘Cities plan electric car perks to drive up sales’.