THERESA May will today set out plans for the UK to be at the forefront of developing and producing zero-emission vehicles.
The prime minister will use a speech in Birmingham to pledge a £106 million funding boost for research and development in the sector, which also covers new batteries and low-carbon technology.
May is expected to tell the UK’s first Zero Emission Vehicle Summit that the government has an ‘ambitious mission’ to ensure Britain is a leader in the green technology field.
She will say: ‘I want to see Britain, once again, leading from the front and working with industries and countries around the world to spearhead change.
‘That is why I have set this country an ambitious mission: to put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.
‘Already we are taking significant strides forward. 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.
‘Today we have provided over £100 million of funding for innovators in ultra-low emission vehicles and hydrogen technology, with a further £500 million of investment from key industries in this sector.
‘These measures will drive the design, use, uptake and infrastructure necessary for cleaner, greener vehicles – and in doing so, it will help us drastically reduce a major contributor to our global warming emissions, as we seek to meet the Paris climate change agreement.’
May is using the event to hold round-table talks on accelerating the development of the zero-emissions market and driving more foreign direct investment into the UK.
The premier will have discussions with leading supply-chain companies from Germany, the USA, Japan, China, Spain and India at the event.
The government will also unveil a new international initiative, dubbed the ‘Birmingham Deceleration’, aimed at paving the way for the worldwide deployment of green vehicles and introduction of smart, zero-emission infrastructure.
The first signatories to the deceleration include Italy, France, Denmark, the UAE, Portugal, Belarus and Indonesia.
The £500 million of investment being announced by key players in the industry is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs across the country.
The summit will also be attended by international trade secretary Liam Fox, transport secretary Chris Grayling and business secretary Greg Clark.