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£20million Government fund fuels search for UK electric vehicle innovations

Innovative ideas for zero-emission vehicles could benefit from a share of £20million in funding announced yesterday.

The Government is launching a research and development competition, open to some of the most promising electric vehicle technology innovations. This could include zero emission emergency vehicles, charging technology or EV battery recycling.

This investment could help EV design and manufacture firms create around 6,000 skilled jobs over the next decade.

The Government has also today published its response to the consultation on ending the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans. The publication details the Government’s commitment to phasing out new vehicles of this kind by 2030, and for all new cars and vans to be zero-emission at the tailpipe by 2035.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Investing in innovation is crucial in decarbonising transport, which is why I’m delighted to see creative zero-emission projects across the UK come to life.

“The funding announced today will help harness some of the brightest talent in the UK tech industry, encouraging businesses to become global leaders in EV innovation, creating jobs and accelerating us towards our net-zero ambitions.

“Among the previous winners is a zero emission ambulance prototype for London Ambulance Service. Designed by ULEMCo, the ambulance can reach speeds of 90 mph and travel an average of 200 miles a day with zero emissions.

“Another successful bidder was tech start-up Urban Foresight, which was given £3 million to develop pop-up chargers that rise up out of the pavement to provide a discreet, safe and low-cost EV charging solution to those without off-street parking."

Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer of Innovate UK, said: “Innovations to increase the uptake of zero-emission vehicles will make our air cleaner while supporting innovative UK businesses. Innovate UK has played a crucial role in helping businesses bring their innovations towards reality and we urge those innovators with bright ideas to apply for this vital funding.”

Khadir Meer, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of London Ambulance Service, said: “London Ambulance Service has the largest and busiest ambulance fleet in the country. We want to play our part in making the capital a cleaner, better place to live, and our work with ULEMCo and Innovate UK is a big step towards doing that.

“Our ambition is for London to have the greenest, cleanest and safest ambulances that provide the best environment to deliver outstanding care to Londoners."

Gary McRae, Head of Electric Mobility at Urban Foresight, said: “We are delighted to see the next phase of funding announced through IUK, that will help accelerate the uptake of EVs in the UK and encourage businesses to get involved in this exciting and fast-moving industry.

“The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles funding has really supported Urban Foresight’s growth over the last few years, helping us to collaborate with likeminded organisations and public bodies to bring new and innovative products to market.”

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