Car buyers urged to Go Ultra Low in new campaign

30 January 2014 #SMMT News
  • Government and UK automotive industry launch campaign encouraging drivers to consider ultra-low emission vehicles.
  • Deputy Prime Minister urges drivers to ‘Go Ultra Low’.
  • Campaign backing from BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall.
  • gives motorists everything they need to know about owning a ULEV.
  • Print, radio and online adverts will drive consideration of zero or ultra-low emission vehicles.

The Deputy Prime Minister has joined the UK automotive industry to launch ‘Go Ultra Low’, a 12-month campaign to help motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of new ultra-low emission vehicles on the market.

Backed by some of the automotive world’s biggest players – BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall – the new campaign will prompt car buyers to consider the benefits of pure electric, plug-in hybrid and extended-range vehicles with information about their low running costs, ease of charging and impressive range.

A new website, provides a one-stop-shop for information about owning and running one of these vehicles, the makes and models available and the locations of the thousands of publically available chargepoints.

In the last three years alone, almost 20 electric and plug-in cars and vans have been launched in the UK. With the average UK journey being less than 50 miles, the ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign asks drivers: ‘What are you waiting for?’ especially when it comes to eliminating or reducing traditional fuel costs, and opting for a car with either zero, or less than 75g/km of CO2 emissions.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg MP, said, “Electric cars are one of the most promising of our green industries and we want to secure the UK’s position as a global leader in both the production and adoption of these vehicles. The extremely low running costs of these cars help drivers save money and we are allocating more than £9 million to boost chargepoints across the country to help drivers to go green. This means we can lower UK emissions and create high-tech engineering and manufacturing jobs to boost our economy.”

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of SMMT said, “Some of the country’s leading automotive brands are pooling resources with government to encourage more car buyers to consider going ultra-low. We want the ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign to help the public understand how these new cars work, their benefits and capabilities, and how they could be a perfect fit for their personal, business or fleet needs.”

The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together the Department for Transport, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, SMMT and a group of leading car manufacturers: BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall.

As well as the website, the campaign will see national print advertising, a radio advertising campaign, celebrity ambassadors programme, online community campaigns and fleet partnerships through the course of 2014.

To support the existing home and business charging network where the majority of charging is done, the government has unveiled an £9.3m investment in additional infrastructure. The investment includes:

  • £5.8 million for more than 140 new rapid charge points that can fully recharge a ULEV in 30 minutes. These will be in towns and on major roads where there has been an historic lack of chargepoints, creating a UK-wide network of around 500 rapid chargepoints.
  • £600,000 for 80 more charge points at train station car parks, making it easier for commuters and other rail users to cut the environmental impact of their whole journey.
  • Grants of £2.9 million awarded to public sector organisations to install more than 450 charge points on their own estate for their staff, fleets and visitors. The public sector is seeking to lead by example by demonstrating commitment to ultra-low emission transport. The successful organisations include a central government department (MOD), two of the devolved administrations (Scotland and Northern Ireland), Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, a number of NHS trusts, two fire and rescue services (Devon and Somerset, and London), a police force (Gloucestershire), and several local authorities.

The government has also committed to invest £5 million to introduce electric vehicles across government and wider public sector fleets this year.

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