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UK Govt claims lead in 'green motoring revolution'

£100m Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform announced

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'Leccy Tech More details about the Government's £100m plan for developing a 'leccy car infrastructure in the UK have now emerged.

Well, a few. Despite reading the Department of Transport statement half a dozen times, we're still not quite sure who is paying, how much, what for, or what anyone will get in return.

We can say that the project is called the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform (LCVIP) and is being run by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), an “arms length” non-departmental body based in Swindon.

In terms of putting tyres on tarmac, the LCVIP has £10m to fund the purchase of 100 electric cars that will be used by “families and other motorists” - we were not previously aware of an official distinction between people with drivers licences but no children, and folk with both - which will generate feedback about how to make everyday green motoring a reality.

Another £20m will be used to put electric and low-emission – less than 50g CO2/km out of the exhaust pipe - vans on the road for use by the likes of the Royal Mail, the police, and Customs and Excise.

Since £60m of the £100m funding has been stumped up by Regional Development Agencies Advantage West Midlands and One North East - who comes up with these names? - many of the vehicles will find their way to Coventry and Newcastle which, along with Liverpool, Gateshead, Glasgow and Leeds, have been named as the trial cities.

The remaining cash for the five-year project is coming from the TSB itself (£20m), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (£10m) and the DoT (£10m).

Where is the money going? Beyond the £10m to be spent on those 100 EVs, £20m will go into electric and green car technology R&D, £30m will go to support industry R&D and “demonstrations”, while £20m will fund a programme to reduce emissions by funding those aforementioned electric and LEV vans. Apart from the £30m for the cars and vans, we think that all sounds a bit vague - and more to the point only adds up to £80m.

Apparently 10,000 news jobs will be created in the UK as a result of the LCVIP initiative, though exactly how is not made clear. Maybe if the UK still had an indigenous mass-market car maker...

According to the DoT, recent research has shown that if “correctly managed”, the UK's power infrastructure can support the widespread use of electric-car charging without requiring new power stations. Thus emboldened, the Government has pledged to “facilitate the roll-out of the charging infrastructure through the planning system”, which we take as meaning that you probably won't need planning permission to put a charge socket in your garage.

The ten companies taking part in the vannying about side of the project are Ford, Mercedes Benz, Citroen, Ashwoods and Land Rover on the low-carbon side of things, and Modec, Smiths, Electric Vehicles, LDV, Nissan and Allied Vehicles on the all 'leccy side of the fence.

The dull and opaque DoT press release can be found here, but be warned, it uses the word 'stakeholder' a lot and that is never a good sign.

However, the opening line about the LCVIP meaning that Britain now “leads the green motoring revolution” did make us laugh, as did the bit about 1m “green jobs” being created by 2030.

Bootnote
We would like to make it quite clear that even though Register Hardware suspects this whole project may be a bit of a waste of money, we are quite willing to participate in it if it means we can have a free Tesla or Lightning to tool around in for a year.

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