Government ramps up efforts to support electric vehicles
The DfT has announced two schemes in the past few days to encourage greater take up of electric vehicles.
On 24 October plans were unveiled to make electric vehicle charge points more widely available and convenient for motorists, while a day earlier the Government committed an additional £4m to the Plug-In Van grant scheme
Announced by business and energy secretary Greg Clark during a visit to Japan, the new Plug-In Van funding means businesses will now benefit from grants of up to £20,000. The scheme has also been extended to cover larger electric vehicles.
Mr Clark said: “The electric car revolution is well underway with consumers and this funding will encourage more businesses to consider switching to cleaner vans and trucks.
“Our automotive sector is thriving with the world’s most popular electric car already made in the UK and we are forging ahead to deploy new engine technology to make low-carbon vehicles mainstream, and leading the way in driverless car technology.”
With regard to charge points, the DfT is consulting on a series of measures to make them more accessible, thereby making it easier for drivers to recharge as demand for low emission vehicles increases. The measures are due to be included in the Modern Transport Bill which will be published in early 2017.
Among the measures being proposed are: making information about the location of public charging stations more accessible; and ensuring drivers can access charge points without the need for multiple memberships from individual providers. Powers will also be given to set common standards for all public charge points to ensure electric car owners can recharge anywhere, anytime.
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, said: “Our ambition is for nearly all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040, and we are taking real steps to achieve this in the Modern Transport Bill. We now want to hear the views of businesses and the wider public.”
The latest DfT figures show that a record number of new ultra low emission vehicles were registered in the UK during the second quarter of 2016.
The figures, published in September, show 9,657 ULEVs were registered during the three month period from April to June, a year-on-year increase of 49% and a 253% rise on the same period in 2014.