If you had £40 million burning a hole in your pocket, destined to be used on improving the way the UK perceives EVs, where would you start?
This is the decision facing Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London authorities this morning – the four cities that have been announced today to each receive a portion of the investment to help improve electric vehicle infrastructure as part of the nationwide Go Ultra Low City Scheme.
Proposals so far have included incorporating charging units into street lights, allowing ultra-low emission vehicles (Ulevs) special privileges such as access to bus lanes, and the potential to create electric-only service stations.
Here’s a breakdown of how much each city has been awarded, and what we can expect them to do with it in the coming months and years.
Nottingham and Derby: £6m – plans include adding hundreds of new charging points across the city, along with developing a programme to help local companies try out and purchase Ulevs easier.
Bristol: £7m – plans include up to 80 new fast chargers, free residential parking for Ulevs (something which is a big sore spot for local residents at present), and access to three new car share lanes across the city.
Milton Keynes: £9m – 20,000 of the city’s parking bays will become free for EVs, along with plans to build an information centre to provide advice about EVs.
London: £13m – plans include prioritising Ulevs in several boroughs, for example introducing charging infrastructure to Hackney.
The head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch, said the extra funding would “transform the roads for residents in and around the Go Ultra Low cities.
“With thousands more plug-in cars set to be sold, cutting running costs for motorists and helping the environment, this investment will help to put the UK at the forefront of the global ultra-low emissions race. 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.”
This is, of course, massive news for the UK. We can only hope that these big ideas are put into action, and other cities soon follow suit…