Green fuel grant up for grabs

Posted on 5 Aug 2009 by The Manufacturer

The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a £1m grant competition for alternative fuels infrastructure development, as part of government’s drive toward a low carbon British future.

The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Grant Programme will see applicants propose projects for electric vehicle recharging, natural gas, hydrogen, and bio-methane refuelling.

The Programme is to be managed by Cenex, the UK Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies. The application deadline is 30 September 2009.

Cenex will hold two information days to provide further details on the programme. The first is on July 31 at Birmingham City Hall while the second is on August 12 at the Baglan Energy Centre, Port Talbot. Anyone interested can attend, free of charge.

In other automotive news, vehicle valuer Glass’s has become the latest automotive organisation to call on government to extend the scrappage scheme.

The company estimates that the scrappage scheme is currently responsible for around 13,500 new orders a week. If these levels keep up, the £300m pot put aside for the programme is estimated to run out in October of this year.

Glass’s said removing the incentive might mean “a sudden, pronounced and damaging fall in business,” which could potentially see sales fall as low as they were at the start of the year.

Similar calls were made recently by the MD of Ford’s British operations, Nigel Sharp.

“Next year we’ll potentially have a market without scrappage, a VAT increase, probably an environment where interest rates will track upwards and the cumulative effect of the pound being worth 25 per cent less than it was 18 months ago coming through in greater price,” he said.

“Add all those things together and you could see a reduced level of demand so an extension of scrappage would be extremely helpful.”