The Budget: UK commits £400 million in Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund
The UK Government announced its Autumn Budget, establishing a £400 million fund along with multiple measures to support zero-emission vehicles deployment.
More specifically, the Government will invest £200 million – to be matched by private investment – into a new £400 million Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund and it guaranteed £100 million will be allocated for the continuation of the Plug-In Car Grant until 2020- a scheme to support consumers to transition to battery-powered vehicles.
Research & Development in charging technology will receive £40 million of funding.
The Government also pledged to replace 25 percent of central government’s car fleets with electric plug-ins by 2022.
Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the Government will also develop legislation to support the transition to a low carbon transportation system, especially the deployment of charging infrastructure.
During his announcement speech, he said: “There is perhaps no technology as symbolic of the revolution gathering pace around us as driverless vehicles”.
He added: “Our future vehicles will be driverless, but they’ll be electric first. And that’s a change that needs to come as soon as possible”.
About Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), the Government said that it anticipated that the first fully self-driving cars will hit the road by 2021 and that it will make “world-leading” changes to the regulatory framework to improve safety tests.
Delphine Clement from EATON Corporation, – a global technology and energy company commented on the news: “The Chancellor’s commitment to deliver on emission reductions by backing electric vehicles and boosting purchases of clean fuel cars is hugely welcome – albeit long overdue”.
“A lack of charging infrastructure has been a major barrier to adoption so far but supporting investment in this space will spur on the UK’s shift to electric vehicles”, she added.
The Government also recommitted £557 million for further Contracts for Difference (CfD), the main subsidy scheme which supports low-carbon generation.
However, it announced that there will be no new low carbon electricity levies, – the mechanism used to control the amount of the cost of renewables passed to the consumers, “until the burden of such costs is falling”.