The 9th September marked the inaugural World EV Day, which celebrates the developments and breakthroughs in electric mobility and serves to highlight the need for change as well as what work is required to take it to the next level.
The UK government used this day to announce plans to ‘turbocharge’ its commitment to improving air quality, driving down emissions and encouraging drivers to make the switch to cleaner, greener vehicles. This will be achieved with specific guidance from a government commissioned report by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. The report recommends parking spaces painted green, charge points at supermarkets and popular tourist sites, and batteries that could charge in six minutes, among other things.
Further steps to decarbonise road transport have been taken by the government, with £12million in funding for R&D investment to support a series of competitions for some of the most promising EV technologies. Together with Innovate UK, the funding will support a range of ground-breaking projects designed to open significant commercial opportunities, one of which could see cars of the future benefitting from a six-minute battery charge.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said, “Whether you’re taking a trip with the family or commuting to work, with the wide range of models at competitive prices, it is now more cost-effective and convenient than ever to drive and charge an electric vehicle. This, together with our continued support for R&D, will see talented UK-based SMEs flourish, as well as more than 6,000 skilled jobs created up and down the country. Therefore, on the world’s first ever day dedicated to celebrating electric vehicles, I’m delighted to announce our unwavering support for a cleaner, greener transport future.”
Furthermore, a new £9.3m scheme launched by Highways England will allow businesses to try electric vehicles for free before they buy. The initiative is designed to encourage drivers to shift to cleaner, lower carbon vehicles and will see local authorities encouraging businesses with diesel van fleets to make the switch to electric. Businesses will be offered a free trial of electric vehicles for two months, following a successful launch with Leeds City Council earlier in the year.
Highways England Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan, said, “We are working with councils across the country to encourage businesses to make the switch to electric vehicles and we expect many more to start using electric vehicles when they experience the savings possible. This is a key example of how we are using designated funds to benefit the environment and communities around our roads as well as the people traveling and working on them.”
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