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UK government is driving efforts to accelerate EV market uptake

21 February 2013

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The UK, and more specifically London, has been a pioneer in adopting measures to facilitate adoption of electric vehicles to improve air quality in the city. On the 19th of January, the UK Government unveiled a £37 million (€42,7 million) scheme to offer electric car owners grants worth up to 75% of the cost of installing home charging facilities, capped at £1,000 (€1,154).

Plug in vehicles can help the consumer by offering a good driving experience and low running costs. They can help the environment by cutting pollution. And most importantly of all, they can help the British economy by creating skilled manufacturing jobs in a market that is bound to get bigger.”

said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

UK Government’s £37 million scheme in details

The £37 million (€42,7 million) scheme includes various measures to help infrastructure roll-out:

  • £11 million (€12,7 million) will be provided to local authorities in England to install on-street charging for residents who have bought a plug-in vehicle but do not have off-street parking.
  • £9 million (€10,4 million) will be made available to fund the installation of charge points at railway stations
  • £3 million (€3,5 million) will go towards supporting the installation of charging stations on the Government and wider public estate by April 2015.
  • Councils can claim up to 75% towards the cost of installing rapid charge points in their area, around their strategic road network.

The total £37 million (€42,7 million) funding package, available until 2015, is part of the Government’s £400 million (€462 million) fund for encouraging the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles (this fund is already responsible for the Plug-in Car Grants and Plugged-in Places schemes).

London’s ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’

Last year, a London Assembly report found that up to 9% of deaths in the capital’s most polluted areas were caused by poor air quality. This report led Boris Johnson, mayor of London, to start a process that could impose an ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’, where only very low and zero emission vehicles would be allowed to operate.

On the 13th February, Boris Johnson, announced

My vision is a central zone where almost all the vehicles running during working hours are either zero or low emission. This would deliver incredible benefits in air quality and stimulate the delivery and mass use of low emission technology.”

Transport for London will now begin work on preparing a public consultation on the new zone.

Car2go expands in the UK

The car2go initiative is expanding to its second city in the UK, with the launch of a fleet of 250 vehicles in Birmingham, following the launch of the service in London last December.

Members of the car2go car club can hire any of the 250 cars located in parking bays across a 34 square mile area of the city.

Marcus Breitschwerdt, President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz UK, said:

I am delighted that car2go is expanding to Birmingham, one of the UK’s largest cities and a major international commercial centre. Our Mercedes-Benz and smart retailers have been serving customers in this region for many years and I am looking forward to introducing the people of Birmingham to car2go."


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