The UK government will acquire 140 plug-in cars for use by workers of government departments and agencies in a bid to reduce carbon footprint.
Part of a 5 million investment in low emission technologies, the cars will be used to transport the government’s employees as well as equipment.
“This is an important step,” said Transport Minister Baroness Kramer. “These cars will save taxpayers money on running costs and will bring low emissions benefits to our fleet.”
The fleet will include British-built Nissan LEAF as well as low emission vans. Four of the Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) will be operated by the Government Car Services, which provides cars for ministers.
This announcement is the first phase in a project designed to highlight the effectiveness of low emission vehicles and encourage fleets to commit to greater take-up over the coming years.
The £5 million investment will also fund take-up by the wider public sector – including councils, police forces and the NHS – of plug-in vehicles and pay for charge-points to be installed to allow the vehicles to be charged at work.
“We want to make the UK one of the best places in the world to design, manufacture and sell ultra-low emission vehicles,” said Business Minister Matthew Hancock. “This important step demonstrates government’s commitment to promoting the economic and environmental benefits of these cars.”
The investment is the latest part of a £500m package set aside for ULEV vehicles announced last year.
ULEVs are a major area of growth for the UK automotive sector, which is worth over £11 billion to the economy.