The UK government has announced £32 million ($49 million) in new funding for EV infrastructure, to support “the fast-growing popularity of plug-in vehicles.” The announcement noted that claims for government grants to plug-in buyers increased fourfold in 2014.
The new pot of money, which will be invested between now and 2020, includes: £15 million to continue the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which offers homeowners a grant for 75% of the cost of installing a home charger (up to £700); £8 million to support public charging infrastructure; and £9 million “to address other infrastructure priorities, for example, ensuring that the UK’s chargepoint network remains accessible and open for users.” This may be a reference to funding for ongoing maintenance, which has been a particular problem in London.
An additional £11 million of funding has been announced for R&D in low-emission vehicle technology. The 15 supported projects include: the creation of a new recycled carbon fiber material; development of a fuel cell range-extended electric bus; and a prototype zero-emission power and cooling system for refrigerated trucks and air-conditioned buses.
“Our support to the ULEV industry will help ensure the innovation that is a hallmark of the British automotive industry will continue to drive development in this vital growth sector,” said Transport Minister Baroness Kramer. “The niche vehicle sector, which makes everything from premium sports cars to double decker buses, is a key strength for UK industry.”