Move to electric cars a step closer to reality

Mass market electric cars have moved a step closer as Transport Secretary Philip Hammond awarded £24 million to further develop the UK's low carbon vehicle capability

The award has been given to six winning projects that took part in the latest Technology Strategy Board competition. Projects include the development of new engines for plug-in hybrid versions of Nissan, Lotus and Jaguar Land Rover cars, a lightweight electric bin wagon, development of lightweight materials for vehicle weight reduction, and new technologies using thermal energy to improve vehicle performance.

The Government also set out the eligibility criteria for its Plug-in Car Grant. Under the scheme, motorists will receive a grant of up to £5,000 to purchase electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuelled cars. In order to be eligible, cars must meet appropriate safety standards and must have been crash tested. They must also meet minimum range and performance criteria.

The Government believes that this combined support will place the UK at the forefront of low carbon automotive development and provide a vital economic boost for the UK economy by giving us a key competitive advantage in this increasingly important global market.

In line with the Coalition Agreement commitment to mandate a national recharging network, guidance has also been released to the 15 places interested in bidding for the second round of the Plugged-In-Places infrastructure programme. This sets out in more detail what we want from these projects to support our decision-making on a national recharging network.

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