Speaking at the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham, the Prime Minister said: “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.”
The investment includes £25m to be used in the research and development of batteries, £20m towards a hydrogen supply competition and £22m to support research.
The PM also held talks with supply-chain companies from the US, Germany, China, Japan, Spain and India to discuss the developing zero-emissions market and encouraging foreign investment to the UK.
The “Birmingham Declaration” was also launched, which aims to speed up the introduction of zero-emissions vehicles and infrastructure. The UAE, France, Italy, Denmark and Portugal were among the first signatories.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) welcomed this news. Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, said: “It is extremely positive to see that the UK government has committed to invest £106m towards the development of low and zero emission vehicles.”
Robinson continued: “In order to improve air quality standards and ensure a consistent uptake of low emission vehicles, significant investments are imperative, and today’s announcement is encouraging. Cooperation is key and NFDA will continue to work alongside the government and other industry partners towards the creation of a favourable retail environment, where our members will meet the growing consumer demand for low and zero emission vehicles.”
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