Government funding for ultra low emission vehicles and charging points
As more and more fleet drivers turn to electric and hybrid power, the leasing industry has welcomed £35m of government funding that will help boost the uptake of ultra-low emission cars and expand the network of charge points in workplaces and residential areas.
Up to £10m of the package will be set aside to do boost infrastructure, with funding for charge points outside workplaces and homes where there is no off-street parking.
Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), said: “We are delighted that the government has listened to our call for support with workplace charging. Fleets and company car drivers are leading the uptake of plug-in electric vehicles, with businesses responsible for 72% of electric vehicle registrations in the first half of this year.”
The latest set of SMMT statistics show that ULEV uptake is at its highest ever level, with year-on-year growth standing at 32.6% in September. They now account for 3.4% of the market overall, with fleets making up the majority of these new registrations.
Keaney commented: “Businesses will only be able to continue this growth with fiscal support from the Government. Workplace charging is a very positive step, but there is a lot more that policymakers can do.
“We need them to narrow the CO2 gaps between tax bands at the lower end of the company car tax scale and make a bigger commitment to in-life incentives for users of plug-in electric vehicles. Employers also need more clarity on how they should treat business travel reimbursements for electric mileage.”
Transport minister John Hayes confirmed that government funding to increase the ULEV uptake will continue, commenting: “We are committing £35m to help install new charge points and offer new grants as we aim for nearly all cars and vans on our roads to be zero emission by 2050.
“No matter what mode of transport you need - a scooter to get to work, a car or a van to run your business - we are here to help you do it with zero emissions.”
There will also be a £20m pot of cash available to help councils roll out chargepoints for ultra-low emission taxis.
As part of the funding, money is also to be awarded to public and private sector organisations to deploy hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Fourteen public and private sector fleets from around the country will receive a share of £2m for a total of 50 hydrogen-fuelled cars and vans, more than doubling the number of these types of vehicles on UK’s roads.