UK announces £43 million funding for infrastructure, research and development of plug-in vehicles

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways March 2, 2015 11:23

UK announces £43 million funding for infrastructure, research and development of plug-in vehicles

Seven major vehicle manufacturers are now part of the Go Ultra Low campaign

A wave of chargepoints to support the fast-growing popularity of plug-in vehicles will be installed across the UK after the government set out £32 million of infrastructure support up to 2020.

Homes, hospitals, train stations and A-roads will be some of the locations for further chargepoints to maintain Britain’s position as a global leader in this cutting-edge technology.

The support compliments the fast-growing popularity of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) with grant claims rising 4 fold in 2014 compared to the previous year as take-up of plug-in car grants continues to rise.

In addition, another £11 million of funding has been announced to boost the UK’s position as a world leader in low emission vehicle technology innovation. The funding will be provided to 50 organisations, ranging from small businesses to major universities, working together on 15 research and development projects, which include:

  • the creation of a novel recycled carbon fibre material that will bring lightweight, low cost vehicle chassis structures to the mass market (led by Gordon Murray Design Ltd).
  • development of a zero emission electric bus with hydrogen fuel cell range extender at a fraction of the cost of the current generation of hydrogen buses (led by Magtec).
  • a prototype zero-emission power and cooling system adapted from a cutting-edge liquid nitrogen powered engine that will dramatically reduce the CO2 emissions from refrigerated trucks and air-conditioned buses (led by Dearman Engine Company Ltd).

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer announced the funding during a visit to Nissan’s European technical development centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, last week (26 February 2015).

Earlier, the minister visited Gordon Murray Design Ltd in Guildford, one of the recipients of the new research funding, before touring McLaren’s technology and production centres at Woking.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:

“The funding announced today marks another milestone in the government’s support for ultra low emission vehicles as their popularity takes off.

“The public will find it even easier to charge their cars when they are out and about thanks to our £8 million commitment to support new chargepoints across key locations in our towns and cities. And we have today announced another £15 million to continue to back the rollout of convenient home chargepoints across the country.

“Our support to the ULEV industry will help ensure the innovation that is a hallmark of the British automotive industry will continue to drive development in this vital growth sector.”

The niche vehicle sector, which makes everything from premium sports cars to double decker buses, is a key strength for UK industry and another £500,000 funding will be provided this year to support the development of carbon-saving cutting edge technologies.

The £32 million infrastructure commitment will include:

  • £15 million to continue the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. ULEVdrivers will receive a 75% grant of up to £700 towards installation from 13 April 2015
  • £8 million to support public charging infrastructure across the UK which, alongside £15 million Highways Agency funding announced in Autumn 2014, will deliver chargepoints on major roads and across towns and cities- bidding for these schemes will open in May 2015
  • £9 million to address other infrastructure priorities, for example, ensuring that the UK’s world-class chargepoint network remains accessible and open for users – further details will be announced later this year

The government and industry are also working closely on the Go Ultra Low campaign to increase consumer and fleet uptake. Seven major vehicle manufacturers and the government are backing Go Ultra Low to highlight the increasing variety and benefits of ULEVs.

Comprehensive information about these vehicles, including the location of chargepoints, is available at GoUltraLow.com.

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways March 2, 2015 11:23