London, Jan 25 (IANS) A target to see at least 250,000 ultra-low-emission vehicles on the streets of London by 2025 was given a boost on Monday by government transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
He named Britain’s capital as one of four major cities to win a share of a $57 million fund to encourage drivers to go green by switching to electric vehicles, Xinhua reported.
London, along with Nottingham, Bristol and Milton Keynes, were named by McLoughlin as winners of a national race for a funding jackpot.
The government prize money will be used in the four cities to promote green vehicle technology to support the take-up of plug-in electric cars.
London has been awarded $18.5 million to create ‘ Neighbourhoods of the future’ prioritising ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in several boroughs across the capital.
Proposals include streets in inner-London borough Hackney going electric with car-charging points fixed to street lights, while Harrow will develop a low-emission zone offering parking and traffic priority to owners of electric vehicles.
London’s proposal aims to deliver 70,000 ULEVs sold by 2020 and almost quarter of a million by 2025.
The fund will also go towards highly skilled jobs in the automotive industry, as many of the plug-in cars will be built and tested in Britain.
“These proposed exciting and innovative ideas will encourage drivers to choose an electric car. I want to see thousands more greener vehicles on our roads,” McLoughlin said.
“The UK… long-term economic plan is investing 600 million pounds ($855 million) by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs, and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040.”
Poppy Welch, who heads the government’s Go Ultra Low unit said: “Initiatives such as customer experience centres, free parking, permission to drive in bus lanes and hundreds of new, convenient public charging locations are sure to appeal to drivers and inspire other cities and local authorities to invest in the electric revolution.”