The Government has announced that it is to “lead by example” through a project to provide funding to introduce plug-in cars and vans across its car fleets.
The £5m ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) readiness project is described as “the first step in plans to make electric cars and other plug-in vehicles commonplace in Government fleets”.
The funding will allow every central Government fleet to review its arrangements and consider how greener vehicles can be used. More than 150 plug-in vehicles will be added to Government fleets in the first wave of the scheme.
The Government Car Service, which provides cars for ministers, will lead the way with its review already underway and plans to order the first electric cars in the autumn.
The scheme was launched by Baroness Kramer, transport minster, Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the treasury, and Oliver Letwin, minister of state for cabinet office.
Danny Alexander said: “I am delighted the Government Car Service is leading the move to electric vehicles and I will be one of the first in line to use one.
“This is the right thing to do; with much lower running costs and close to zero emissions, these vehicles will save the taxpayer money and be much greener.
Baroness Kramer said: “Government must lead by example. Today’s investment will see Government switching a significant number of plug-in cars and vans into our fleets and leading the electric charge.”
The scheme will be expanded in the autumn to allow the wider public sector including councils, police forces and the NHS, to introduce more plug-in vehicles. This is expected to add approximately a further 135 plug-in vehicles to these fleets.
In both phases, charge points will also be installed to provide infrastructure support for the new cars and vans.