Parking spaces painted green, chargepoints at supermarkets and popular tourist sites, and batteries that could charge in six minutes could all form part of the government’s plans to accelerate electric vehicle uptake, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced today on the inaugural World EV Day (9 September).
The government claims it is turbocharging its commitment to improving air quality, driving down emissions and encouraging drivers to make the switch to cleaner, greener vehicles through considering recommendations in a government commissioned report by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
These include chargepoints installed at popular destinations such as supermarkets and tourist sites, consistent and clear public signage for drivers on UK roads or guidance to local authorities on painting EV parking spaces green.
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 up significant commercial opportunities, one of which could see cars of the future benefitting from a six-minute battery charge.
The Department for Transport has also worked closely with Auto Trader to develop a dedicated EV section on its website to help potential EV purchasers with their decision, with more sites expected to follow.
Says Transport Secretary Grant Shapps:
“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.
“This is why, 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.”
A £9.3million scheme launched by Highways England will also 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.
Adds Highways England Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan:
“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 travelling and working on them.”