The government’s work to try and improve air quality saw it today explain its plans to support the development and introduction of low emission vehicles through £390 million of funding.
The money was first announced in the Autumn Statement last week by Chancellor Philip Hammond who left it to the Department for Transport to detail the expenditure.
Announcing some details today (29 November), transport secretary Chris Grayling, claimed that “Thousands of buses and taxis will be made greener and cleanerâ€? because of a “£290 million DfT investment to support low emission vehiclesâ€?.
The DfT, which is working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on ways to improve air quality, said the funding “reiterates the government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions from transport and is a major step towards our aim for nearly all cars and vans to be zero emission by 2050.â€?
The £290 million funding is for three areas of activity:
A further £100m will follow to “support … plans to develop and test connected and driverless vehicle technologyâ€? and there will also be £40 of top-up support for the Plug-In programme.
The finance for work on buses and taxis will go towards “putting new, less polluting buses on the road as well as retrofitting engines to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions”.
The charging infrastructure work will provide help for electric vehicle owners and the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is now open for applications. (More details at: Grants).
Mr Grayling said: “We are absolutely determined to reduce carbon emissions from transport as part of our ongoing commitment to tackle climate change. This government is committed to improving air quality and reducing pollution in towns and cities, which is essential for people’s health and the environment.
“We are already making headway through our investment in low emission vehicles, greener public transport and walking and cycling, as well as grants for innovative advanced biofuels projects.â€?
Poppy Welch, head of the government and motor industry campaign Go Ultra Low, said: “The £80m investment in charging infrastructure is vital as growth in the UK electric vehicle market continues to accelerate.
“This is fantastic news for motorists and the continuation of incentives for plug-in vehicles through company tax and salary sacrifice schemes will give thousands more people the option of choosing the very lowest emitting cars and allow more businesses to benefit from adding electric vehicles to their fleets.â€?