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Economy Economy

Invest £600 million in electric vehicle technology by 2020

Last updated: 09:45pm 3 December 2019

Our ambition is for Britain to lead the world in electric vehicle technology and use. We want almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050 – and will invest £600 million by 2020 to help achieve it.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.24

Our verdict

In a drive towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions from transport, the 2017 manifesto indicated an ambition to become the global leader in electric vehicle technology and use. This policy promises to invest £600 million by 2020 to work towards making all cars and vans zero-emissions.

In May 2018, the Transport Secretary announced that “we are investing £1.5 billion in Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles by 2021”. Two months later, the government published their Road to Zero Strategy document, which sets out their green transport plans. The document listed various projects which form part of the planned £1.5 billion ULEV investment, such as the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, the Faraday Battery Challenge, the On-Street Residential Charge-point Scheme, and a programme to develop on-street charging technology.

By the end of its term of office, in December 2019, we calculate the government had allocated approximately £195 million across the mentioned schemes.

  • The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund is worth £400 million, but a September 2019 announcement mentioned that £70 million has been allocated for 3000 charge points.
  • In June 2019, Faraday Battery Challenge director Tony Harper revealed the scheme has provided, to date, £82.6 million to 63 projects.
  • In August 2019, the government announced it would add an extra £2.5 million to the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme. The same document highlights that £37 was allocated to engineering projects to develop on-street charging.

The government delivered approximately £195 million by December 2019. It seems extremely unlikely that it would have met the target of £600 million by 2020, but its term of office ended before the deadline passed. Strictly speaking, therefore, this policy will remain ‘in progress’.

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