The UK government will be investing £43 million ($66 million) into the support of ultra-low-emission vehicles through 2020 — thereby supporting the buildout of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, as well as funding further research into electric car and electric bus technologies.
Of that £43 million figure, £32 million ($49.2 million) will be spent on EV charging infrastructure, and £11 million on the support of 14 “low emission vehicle technology” research and development projects. These projects include work undertaken by a total of 50 different organizations, apparently — including those from a number of different small businesses.
The UK’s Department for Transport stated that of these numbers, £15 million ($23.1 million) would be put to use to provide drivers of EVs with grants (the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme), and £8 million ($12.3 million) would be utilized directly to install new charging infrastructure throughout the country.
By the terms of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, EV drivers can receive up to £700 ($1,077) towards the installation of a charging system. This offer starts from April 13, 2015.
The bidding process on the charging station buildout is expected to begin in May.
In addition, £9 million ($13.85 million) will be used to deal with other infrastructure issues — making sure “that the UK’s chargepoint network remains accessible and open for users,” for example.
Amongst the research projects set to receive funding are: one working to create “a novel recycled carbon fiber material that will bring lightweight, low cost vehicle chassis structures to the mass market;” one developing a zero-emissions electric bus outfitted with a hydrogen fuel cell range extender; and one developing “a prototype zero-emissions power and cooling system adapted from a cutting-edge liquid nitrogen powered engine that will dramatically reduce the CO2 emissions from refrigerated trucks and air-conditioned buses.”
Sounds like good and interesting stuff. I’d say that there’s probably a good chance that these investments will pay off for the UK — and help drive the growing industry there.
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