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13 September 2018

UK government reveals £400m EV charging network boost

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

The UK government is providing £400m to create an electric vehicle (EV) charging point infrastructure, in partnership with the automotive industry.

UK prime minister Theresa May says the government will ensure charge points can be easily accessed and available at motorway service stations and other petrol stations.

There will also be £1.5bn for the development of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVS). Speaking at the country’s first Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Summit in Birmingham, May unveiled an ‘ambitious mission’ to help put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of ZEVs.

She wants all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.

According to the May, the UK government's Road to Zero Strategy maps out how this goal can be achieved along, with the transition of every car and van to be zero emission by 2050.

The government is providing over £100m of funding for innovators in ULEVs and hydrogen technology.

"We are providing a £2m grant for e-Cargo bikes, creating a zero-emission option for last mile deliveries,” May adds.

Through the initiative, the automotive industry has confirmed it is investing over £500m in projects relating to low emission technology.

The EV Network, a charging station development company, is developing 200 fast-charging stations throughout the UK as part of a £200m investment.

Meanwhile, Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric, a subsidiary of CRRC, will establish an R&D Innovation Centre for EVs, rail and renewables in Birmingham.

Lloyds Banking, the principal partner of the ZEV Summit, will announce a £1m fund for EV leases to incentivise zero-emissions driving. It is available for the first 1,000 customers which sign up for an EV with Lex Autolease, the group’s vehicle leasing arm.

May also hosted an automotive investment roundtable with supply-chain companies from the US, Germany, Japan, China, Spain and India to explore additional work which can be done to accelerate the development of a zero-emissions market.

Zak Bond, public affairs and policy co-ordinator, at UK charity Living Streets, says the growth of EV charging points must not come at the expense of pedestrians.

"We have already seen numerous examples of the thoughtless placement of charging points on the pavement resulting in an unnecessary obstruction."

Bond emphasises road space should be allocated to accommodate EV charging points to ensure pavements are safe and clutter-free.

“EVs can’t solve rising congestion on our roads, and to call them ‘zero emission’ is severely misleading as they produce lung harming particulate matter," Bond adds.

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