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Liberal Democrats announce £100m prize fund to spark ‘low emission car revolution’Back

NickClegg• Our £100m prize will provide a strong incentive to create the first mass market Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle car to help tackle poor air quality which reduces average life expectancy by up to 8 months and causes 40,000 deaths a year in Britain
• In government, Liberal Democrats invested £500m into the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) industry, establishing the UK as the biggest market in the EU for ULEVs
• Prize supports ambition of ‘Five Green Laws’ which is on the front page of the Liberal Democrat manifesto to have all cars on British roads low emission from 2040 onwards

The Liberal Democrats will spark a low emission car revolution in Britain, starting with a £100m prize fund for car makers. They will receive the multi-million pound fund when they produce an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) that becomes a top five selling car over the course of a year.

Announcing the new £100m prize fund, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said:

“For the first time since the 1970s, Britain now sells more cars than it buys thanks to Vince Cable and the Liberal Democrats being in the driving seat at the Department for Business.

“However, we need to go further and faster in making Britain a world leader in low emission vehicles by providing the right incentives and infrastructure to attract green investment and green jobs.

“This isn’t just about re-balancing the economy, it’s also about tackling dangerous levels of air pollution that reduce average life expectancy by up to 8 months.

“Our Liberal Democrat £100m prize fund will spark a low emission car revolution in Britain and help to build a stronger and greener economy for years to come.”

To help car makers reach this goal, Liberal Democrats will also upgrade infrastructure and continue to invest in research and development.

The prize fund, infrastructure upgrades and support for R&D combined are all part of a bold ambition to have all cars on UK roads ultra-low emission from 2040 onwards.

Notes

An Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle is defined as a vehicle which has CO2 emissions of below 75g/km. The average UK new car currently emits 128.3g C02/km.

The £100m prize will be awarded to the company which manages to get a ULEV into the UK top five selling cars. On current trends this would require an annual sales figure of around 60,000. In 2014 the top five selling cars were:

• Ford fiesta 131,000 registrations
• Ford Focus 85,000 registrations
• Vauxhall Corsa 82,000 registrations
• Volkswagen Golf 74,000 registrations
• Vauxhall Astra 60,000 registrations

In addition to the £100m prize fund the Liberal Democrats will take a range of measures to encourage the building and sales of ULEVs, including:

• Only allowing ULEVs on UK roads from 2040
• Continuing to incentivise ULEV R&D through ongoing funding mechanisms such as the Automotive Industrial Strategy, the Regional Growth Fund and Catapult Centres
• Continuing to increase the number of rapid charging points for cars and gas refuelling for Heavy Good Vehicles
• Working with local authorities to further incentivise the use of ULEVs such as through beneficial parking arrangements.

The automotive industry is a valuable contributor to the UK economy and car use is a vital part of people’s everyday lives.

However, cars also have an adverse impact on the UK’s carbon emissions. In total, transport accounts for 20% of all carbon emissions in the UK.

It is also thought that poor air quality (in part a result of transport emissions) costs the UK economy £16bn, reduces average life expectancy by up to 8 months and causes roughly 40,000 deaths a year.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 10/04/2015