The government has announced £12m worth of funding to boost research and development investment in electric vehicle (EV) technologies.
The funding will be provided through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and delivered through Innovate UK.
£10m will be used for the creation of a new Zero Emission Vehicle Innovation Competition. Applicants will be able to bid for a grant that will help to fund research and development work for six-month rapid-delivery projects.
The projects will be focused on the development of charging technologies in a bid to help accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles in the UK.
The additional £2m will be available to small and medium-sized businesses to support research into areas such as battery technology that could contribute to the manufacture of future electric vehicles.
The Transport Secretary has also confirmed plans to roll out green number plates to encourage drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles, as part of the government’s plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Whether you’re taking a trip with the family or commuting to work, with the wide range of models at competitive prices, it is now more cost-effective and convenient than ever to drive and charge an electric vehicle.
‘This, together with our continued support for research and development, will see talented UK-based SMEs flourish, as well as more than 6,000 skilled jobs created up and down the country.’
Chief executive of Highways England, Jim O’Sullivan, added: ‘We’re pleased to be working with councils across the country to encourage businesses to make the switch to electric, and we expect many more to start using electric vehicles when they see the savings possible.
‘This is just one example of how we are using dedicated funding to benefit the environment and communities alongside our roads as well as the people travelling and working on them.’
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