Government ramps up efforts to support electric vehicles

12.00 | 26 October 2016 | | 5 comments

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.

Photo: Mariordo via Wikipedia. Use under the Creative Commons licence 2.0.


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    Is the photo representative of EV charging points generally? Power cables dangling on the public highway seems a ready targets for mischief makers or worse. Also, if the casings arn’t very robust and vandal resistant they wouldn’t last long where I live.

    Pat, Wales
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    While most of our news directly relates to road safety, we also cover stories likely to be of interest to road safety practitioners in their professional capacity.

    Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News
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    A big advantage of electric vehicles to my mind is no gears and no clutch! Smooth progress, less ‘urgency’ led by the need to accelerate to change up and less discouragement to slow down where it would be prudent to do so, because, to the driver, it would mean yet another down-change and then another up-change – all not conducive to smooth and controlled driving, in my view anyway. Also two pedals only – right foot to go, left foot to stop = quicker and shorter stopping and the difference between a near miss and another statistic. Probably not the main reasons for promoting electric vehicles admittedly but an oft overlooked advantage. Or, no need to wait, one could drive an automatic and appreciate the benefits now.

    Hugh Jones,Cheshire
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    OK the “road safety aspect” of this article may be quite limited, but I for one welcome being kept informed. There may well be setbacks on the road (sorry for the pun) to a zero emissions environment, but we need places like this to keep the discussion alive.

    Martin, Suffolk
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    I wondered what the road safety aspect of this story is. I also wonder if these initiatives to get more electric vehicles on the road will backfire in the same way that the earlier initiatives to replace petrol-engined vehicles with diesel ones did.

    Charles, England
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