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Government launches £10m electric car development prize

July 24, 2013 2:42 PM
By BusinessGreen staff in BusinessGreen
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Danny AlexanderDanny Alexander opens up new competition to help UK become 'the global leader in ultra-low emission vehicles'

Businesses, engineers, and academics have been given the chance to scoop a new £10m prize for developing technology to drive down the price of ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs).

The fund will be targeted at technological improvements that enable ULEVs to run as long as and as far as conventionally fuelled cars, without needing to stop or burn fossil fuel.

The government hopes that the prize will encourage commercial and investment opportunities in Britain's car industry, while ensuring the next generation of low-emission cars is more affordable than current models.

Launching the competition yesterday, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: "We want more companies to invest in this cutting-edge research so that Britain is the global leader in ultra-low emission vehicles."

The competition will start by the end of the year and will be open to all including businesses, universities, and engineering experts.

It comes on top of £400m already committed in this parliament to help drive take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles, although fears over range and charging points have meant that as of June 30, only 4,553 electric cars and vans have been purchased under the government's plug-in grant scheme.

Last week, the government announced a further £500m would be invested over the next parliament to support the auto industry as it works to encourage consumers to switch to the latest low-carbon technology.

Further details on how the new funding money will be spent are expected in the government's long-term strategy for ULEVs, which is due to be published in late summer or early autumn.