Government unveils £20m fund to boost EV technology

The funding aims to drive electric vehicle growth and cut emissions.

Electric vehicle charging plug

The government has unveiled £20 million worth of funding this week to increase technology innovations in the electric vehicle (EV) market.

It says the investment will help to ensure the UK remains a world leader in EV design and manufacture, while predicting it could create around 6,000 skilled jobs over the next decade.

As part of the initiative, the government is also launching an electric vehicle research and development competition. This could include advancements in zero-emission emergency vehicles, charging technology or EV battery recycling.

Decarbonising transport

Among the previous winners is a zero-emission ambulance prototype for London Ambulance Service.

Designed by ULEMCo, a company that converts regular vehicles to ones run on hydrogen, the ambulance can reach speeds of 90 mph and travel an average of 200 miles a day with zero emissions.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Investing in innovation is crucial in decarbonising transport, which is why I’m delighted to see creative zero-emission projects across the UK come to life.

“The funding announced today (10 March) will help harness some of the brightest talent in the UK tech industry, encouraging businesses to become global leaders in EV innovation, creating jobs and accelerating us towards our net-zero ambitions.”

EV numbers continue to grow

The study comes as British motorists prepare for a future where EVs look set to be the norm.

Last year, the government committed to ending the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars in the UK by 2030. It forms a key part of its plan to hit the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

There are signs that EVs are growing in numbers on British roads already, with plug-in vehicles continuing to enjoy growth last month.

New battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) took a combined 13% market share in February, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT). That’s up from just 5.7% in February 2020. 

BEV uptake increased by 40% to 3,516, and PHEVs by 52% to 3,131 as the industry continues to promote a broad range of lower-emission technologies for consumers.

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