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Money will be made available to dozens of local authorities, NHS trusts and train operators to provide charging points on their property and town and city streets

Hospitals, railway stations and streets across the UK will soon see a new wave of charging points for electric vehicles thanks to government funding. The funding competition for the network was first announced in February 2013 with £37 million being made available. The winning bids for the first round of funding have now been announced by Transport Minister Norman Baker and Business Minister Michael Fallon.

Bids have also been invited for the second round of funding, from train operators, local authorities and the wider public sector. The closing bid for the second round is 30th October 2013.

£500 million has also been set aside for developing the UK market in ultra low emission vehicles as part of the government’s plans for roads reform announced in July. This will support the growing market for ultra low emission vehicles and help to create a stable and buoyant industry to support it, capturing manufacturing and engineering growth for the UK.

“With hundreds of new chargepoints adding to the ever-expanding network of infrastructure, people will be able to recharge their cars at stations, in hospital car parks and on streets all over the country” said Norman Baker. “This is brilliant news for those already using these vehicles and will give greater confidence to those who are considering making the switch to electric. With new models coming to market every month from major motor vehicle manufacturers and running costs of 2 pence to 3 pence a mile, these vehicles are an increasingly attractive option for many consumers and businesses.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon added that the automotive industry in the UK is a real success story with four out of every five vehicles made in the country being exported and many thousands of high quality jobs across the UK.

“We need to keep working with industry to maintain this momentum and secure its long-term success” Mr Fallon continued, “which is why we are supporting the transition to ultra low emission vehicles. As we set out in our automotive industrial strategy, there are huge opportunities for us from being a world-leader in these technologies.”

The government funding provides 75 percent of the cost for installing new chargepoints and is part of the government’s existing funding package for encouraging the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles. £5000 has been set aside for a consumer incentive for eligible cars and up to £8000 for eligible vans. £82 million has also been allocated for research, development and procurement programmes. The funding for the chargepoints is to help kick-start eight regional chargepoint schemes across the UK.

So far, as of 30th June 2013, 4553 claims have been made through the plug-in car grant scheme with 310 claims being made through the plug-in van grant scheme, according to government figures. This is the highest quarterly increase since the scheme began with an additional 920 cars ordered in the most recent quarter – a 30% increase on the previous highest quarter. Grant claims made in the first half of 2013 have already reached almost 75% of the total claims made in 2012. In turn, claims in 2012 for the plug-in car grant, which has been available since January 2011, were 2 and a half times higher than in 2011.

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles will be setting out the government’s strategy for the sector later this year.

source: renewableenergymagazine

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