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30 Jun 2020
Jamie Gibbs Alice Campion

£73.5 million grant to fund electric vehicle research

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car being charged at an EV charging point

The grant will go towards developing EV motors and batteries. It could also safeguard 14,000 jobs.

The pressure is on to drastically reduce our carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

Low Emissions Zones and the petrol and diesel ban have already been announced this year to help us reach the goal.

The latest step is a £73.5 million investment in the research and development of electric vehicle technology.

This will come as a relief to anyone who’s considering an electric vehicle, as uncertainties - such as EV battery recycling - factor high in their minds.

But is the grant enough to address all the concerns that EV considerers have?

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What schemes are currently running to help us meet our zero emissions goal?

The government initially proposed a ban on all new petrol and diesel vehicles for 2040. The ban has now been brought forward to 2035 to reach net zero sooner.

Some have said this might even be brought forward a further five years if we’re not on track.

Certain cities across the UK have banned high polluting vehicles - these are known as low emission zones.

The zones charge vehicles that exceed certain levels of emissions. Some of the cities to introduce the ban are London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh and York.

The government is also investing £2 billion in greener ways to travel such as walking, cycling and E-scooters.

This grant will also pay for more EV charging points, addressing a bugbear for any potential electric vehicle owner.

 

Want to know more about the schemes so far? 

 

What areas of EV technology will the grant focus on?

The government is investing in the research and development of batteries and motors for electric taxis, cars and vans.

The research will focus on advanced electrical systems and ultra-lightweight vehicle parts.

Manufacturers will also develop recyclable EV batteries – another concern for EV considerers.

This development will help to boost the efficiency of electric vehicle technology, driving away the reliance on fossil fuels.

It also means more electric vehicles and their parts can be manufactured in the UK.

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi comments:

“Whether it’s researching future battery design or creating a lightweight version of the Ford Transit, companies in every part of the United Kingdom are leading the world in advanced automotive technology.”

Ten projects across the UK will receive funding. Some of them include Ford Technologies, BMW Motorsport, Jaguar Land Rover and the London Electric Vehicle Company - manufacturer of electric taxis.

READ MORE: How can I make an EV affordable?

 

Will the UK economy benefit from the scheme?

Another positive offshoot from the scheme is job security. The grant will help the automotive industry recover from the coronavirus pandemic by safeguarding 14,000 jobs.

Zahawi goes on to say:

“Not only will this funding ensure automotive companies can play their part in keeping us on the path to net zero emissions by 2050, it will also support thousands of jobs and be a welcome step towards the industry’s economic recovery.”

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean also comments:

“As we look to kickstart our green transport recovery, new technologies and cleaner fuels are going to play an even greater role in achieving our aim of a greener and more prosperous economy.

“From recyclable batteries to state-of-the-art motors, not only will this funding create thousands of jobs, it will also bring us one step closer to achieving our net zero target within 30 years.”

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