UK’s top eco cities bid for £35m

Posted on 12 Oct 2015 by Callum Bentley

This week, 12 cities from across the UK launched bids for a share of £35 million government funding to boost the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

Vying for selection as one of UK’s first ‘Go Ultra Low Cities’, the shortlisted authorities put forward pioneering initiatives that Ministers hope will position the UK among the world’s leading markets for plug-in electric vehicles and eco-innovation.

Low Carbon Vehicle 2
Greater London in one of a handful of cities bidding for the £35m.

Set up by The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the £35m Go Ultra Low Cities Scheme will reward local authorities which best demonstrate the potential to deliver a significant increase in the uptake of ULEVs.

Each city should demonstrate vision to achieve ‘exemplar status’ to become internationally outstanding examples for the adoption of plug-in cars and vans in their local area.

The winning cities will be announced before the end of the year, with each likely to see thousands of new ULEVs on their roads over the next 5 years as a result, improving air quality and helping to transform people’s quality of life in their cities.

A variety of inventive proposals have been put forward by local authorities from across the UK, many of which are scalable and can be introduced in towns and cities nationwide.

Initiatives featured in the bids include:

  • A car scrappage scheme to replace conventionally-fuelled vehicles with ULEVs
  • Replacing existing council fleets with pure electric and ultra low emission models
  • Increasing ULEV salary sacrifice schemes to make ultra low emission vehicles more accessible
  • EV carpools for public and private sector workers
  • Energy-efficient LED street lights that double-up as electric vehicle charge points
  • On-street community charging facilities in locations where charging is presently impractical or limited
  • ‘Smartphone style’ charge points with interactive screens and WiFi access
  • Long-term EV parking at major transport hubs
  • Enhancing usability and benefits for low-emission car club members with greater charging and parking options

Transport Minister Andrew Jones commented: “We are determined to maintain international leadership on the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles.

“I look forward to seeing the winning ideas for greener, cheaper cars in action. This funding for eco-cities is part of our £500m funding programme over the next five years to support British industry and achieve our ambition of almost every car, bus and van in the UK being ultra low emission by 2050.”

The full list of 12 cities and authorities shortlisted for official Go Ultra Low status and a share of the £35m funding are:

    • City of York Council
    • Department for Regional Development of Northern Ireland
    • Dundee City Council
    • Greater London Authority
    • Leicester City Council
    • Milton Keynes Council
    • North East Combined Authority
    • Nottingham City Council
    • Oxford City Council
    • Sheffield City Council
    • West of England
    • West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch added: “We’re excited by the passion and innovation demonstrated by cities across the UK, and we look forward to congratulating the UK’s first Go Ultra Low Cities.

“We will work closely with the winning regions to help increase motorists’ awareness of the variety, economy and practicality of ultra low emission vehicles through innovative schemes that incentivise purchase, increase use and enhance infrastructure.”

Go Ultra Low exists to help motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of new ultra low emission vehicles.

The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of seven leading vehicle manufacturers – Audi; BMW; Mitsubishi; Nissan; Renault; Toyota, and Volkswagen, Government and the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).