UK government announces £12m funding plans on World EV Day

By Ellen Daniel

Today is the inaugural World EV Day, an annual event intended to “engage consumers around the sustainability benefits” of electric vehicles.

Founded by sustainability media company Green.TV, World EV Day is being marked by a social media campaign as well as live-streamed panel discussions and webinars, part of Green.TV’s EV Summit.

To mark World EV Day, the UK government has announced £12 million in funding to go towards electric vehicle research projects, including research into batteries that charge in just six minutes. This is part of plans to accelerate electric vehicle uptake, announced today by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, which could include installing new EV charging points at supermarkets and tourist sites, and creating designated parking spaces for electric vehicles.

Highways England has also announced it is investing over £9m in the electric vehicle ‘try before you buy’ scheme, which allows businesses to try electric vehicles for two months for free.

According to Euractiv, the registration of electric vehicles in Europe rose by 57.4% in the first quarter of 2020, but they still only account for 4.3% of total registrations. The move to electrification is a major pillar in the UK’s plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The National Grid Electric System Operator estimates that having 11 million electric vehicles on UK roads by 2030 is needed to improve the chances of meeting the target.

Consumer adoption, industry engagement and the widespread rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure is therefore a key part of lowering emissions.

“From multi-million-pound investments in electric vehicle charging points to consulting on ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, we’re making certain that the future of UK transport is green”, said Business and Industry Minister Nadhim Zahawi. “World Electric Vehicle day is a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come.”

World EV Day promotes “sustainable future”

World EV Day’s founding members include IONITY, a joint venture by BMW Group, Mercedes Benz AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche.

Other World EV Day partners include Jaguar, National Grid, Land Rover, Nissan and Octopus Electric Vehicles.

Event organisers have also launched an EV pledge, with participants committing to “cleaner air, lower emissions, and a more sustainable future”.

Dr Michael Hajesch, CEO of IONITY said:

“We believe it is essential to be part of the movement into a zero-emission future. Europe had 1,7m plug-in electric vehicles (BEV and PHEV) on the streets at the end of 2019* and counting. Celebrating World EV Day is a great way of recognising the need for change and highlighting the work that has already been done – from a reliable and fast charging infrastructure to the latest innovation in the electric vehicle sector.

“Driving an EV across Europe should be the new normal, and it is our mission to support the transition and bring high-power electric vehicle charging to everyone, everywhere.”

Read More: Tier wants riders to swap e-scooter batteries – and it makes perfect sense.