Nick Clegg says the investment between 2015 and 2020 will create jobs, reduce emissions and set the agenda for the industry.
Under the new scheme the £5,000 Plug-In Car Grant will be extended to 2017, or until 50,000 grants have been claimed. After that he said the Government will review the subsidy to ensure it is at the right level.
Towns and cities will be able to gain ‘Ultra Low City Status’ and get a share of £35m to make changes and £32m will be invested in charging infrastructure, including plans to install rapid charge points across the M and A road network by 2020.
The Deputy Prime Minister visited the Transport Research Laboratory in Wokingham, along with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Minister of State for Transport Baroness Susan Kramer, where they met with industry leaders.
Nick Clegg said: ‘Our economy is growing thanks to sectors like our thriving automotive industry that are helping repair and rebalance the economy, building a fairer society for this generation and the next.
‘The UK has the potential to emerge as a world leader in the development, design and manufacture of green vehicles. Owning an electric car is no longer a dream or an inconvenience. Manufacturers are turning to this new technology to help motorists make their every day journeys green and clean.’
The car industry welcomed the news. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘This funding package will help secure additional private sector investment, but more needs to be done to support academic research in this area – as well as developing the skills that will be essential if the UK is to become a global leader in ultra-low emission technologies.’
Meanwhile Lance Bradley, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK MD, said: ‘This is a welcome announcement from the Government and great news for motorists looking for a plug-in hybrid.’
BMW UK managing director, Tim Abbott, said: ‘The Government’s funding commitment provides certainty that the UK is serious about embracing these new technologies and complements the very substantial investments being made by industry to introduce innovative lower-emission technologies that are not only exciting for customers but also good for the environment.’