Ultra-low emission vehicle strategy unveiled

04 September 2013 #SMMT News

Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP, has today launched Driving the Future Today, the strategy to implement the £500m funding to support Ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), which was announced earlier this year.

Running until 2020, the Strategy is constructed of four pillars, which involve making ULEVs easier to buy, supporting necessary infrastructure, putting the right regulatory and fiscal structure in place, and boosting the ULEV supply chain.

Making ULEVs easier to buy

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will continue its support for early market ULEVs, retaining the current plug-in vehicle grants until 2015 and planning a new phase of support for 2015 to 2020. It will also ensure that grants are available for hydrogen fuel cell EVs (FCEV), and that registration is simplified when such vehicles become commercially available in 2015. It will also work closely with industry and local government on Phase 2 of UKH2Mobility.

Funding will also be provided to the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to continue its Plugged in Fleets Initiative until March 2014. Incentives will also be considered to promote the uptake of low emission HGV technologies.

Supporting the necessary infrastructure

Development of the UK’s charging infrastructure will be continued, with match funding for eight Plugged in Place schemes planned for 2013/14 and an additional £37 million to be provided for 2015 to install charge points in homes and public car parks. To ensure that drivers have full access to the infrastructure, chargers, plugs and connectors will be standardised, and all public chargers fitted with “pay-as-you-go” functionality.

Infrastructure will also be put in place for the introduction for FCEVs, with an initial network of 65 hydrogen refuelling stations planned.

Putting the right regulatory and fiscal structure in place

A £10 million prize will be awarded to develop long-life battery technology for the next generation of EVs, with guidelines unveiled later in the year.

OLEV will also ensure that strong tax incentives for the purchase of ULEVs are in place until 2020 and that tax positioning for plug-in vehicles is clarified.

Boosting the UK’s ULEV supply chain

OLEV will continue to work with the Automotive Council to ensure that the Advanced Propulsion Centre helps to develop the UK supply chain, including the establishment of funding frameworks to encourage inward investment and promote innovation within the UK. Funding to develop the hydrogen refuelling structure is also expected.


Norman Baker MP, said, “These are exciting times for the motoring industry as ultra low emission vehicles are the future for road travel. Our vision is that by 2050 almost every car and van will be an ultra low emission vehicle with the UK at the forefront of their design, development and manufacture. This strategy moves us up a gear in pursuing that vision.”

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said, “The UK must be a lead producer and market for low and ultra-low carbon vehicles. We’re pleased to see the Strategy set out a longer term approach to the incentives, policies and initiatives which are needed to create confidence for vehicle buyers and manufacturers. We strongly support the collaborative approach with our industry which will help to secure the UK’s position as a leader in the development, production and use of ultra-low emission technologies.”

Click through to download Driving the Future Today – a strategy for ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK.

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