PM puts £100m into low emission vehicle technology

Written by Hannah McGrath

Theresa May will today announce more than £100 million to develop low and zero-emission vehicles, as she sets out plans for the UK to become a world leader in green technologies.

In a speech to the inaugural Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham today, the prime minister will outline her ambition for Britain to spearhead the development of low emission and low carbon technologies, with a target for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.

The £106 million funding package announced today will include a boost for research and development into green vehicles, new batteries and hydrogen powered technology.

The funding has been split into categories, with £25 million earmarked for batteries for electric vehicles, £20 million for a competition for a hydrogen supply solutions and £22 million for the integrated delivery programme which underpins university and business research into new technology solutions.

UK car design and engineering firm Aston Martin and US engine manufacturer Cummins have agreed to pump more than £500 million into UK-based technology projects, with a view to creating 1,000 new jobs in the sector.

As part of the so-called “Birmingham declaration”, Mrs May will also sign a new international agreement with 11 countries, including Italy and France, committing to a “new era of global collaboration” on green vehicles and zero emission infrastructure.

Setting out the “ambitious” proposals, Mrs May is expected to say: “Our electric UK manufactured cars account for one in five sold in Europe. Our batteries are among the best in the world. And our Road to Zero Strategy is the most comprehensive plan globally - mapping out in detail how we will reach our target for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040 - and for every car and van to be zero emission by 2050.”

Several UK companies have already joined the global race to develop the first generation of fully electric, emission-free cars. Last week, engineering firm Dyson announced plans to extend its £200 million self-driving vehicle testing programme in Wiltshire.