Government promises £500m of new investment in green tech

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The government has launched a £400 million fund to bolster Britain’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with the first £70 million allocated for 3000 charge points – more than doubling the number across the UK to 5000.

Rapid charge points can recharge a family car in as little as 20 minutes, compared to existing technology which can take 40 minutes. The UK already has one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in Europe, and this investment will help make that the fastest by installing state-of-the-art technology, says the government.

A review is currently underway to explore the provision of charge points across major road networks, meaning drivers could charge their car whilst stopping for a coffee at a service station. Today’s investment adds to the £1.5 billion support to boost uptake of electric vehicles and make cleaner vehicles more accessible to everyone. This is part of the Government’s ambition to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

Also being announced today is £31.5 million for research into pioneering technologies to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and £22 million to research new kinds of air pollutants and minimise their effects on public health.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s fantastic there is already a rapid chargepoint at almost every motorway service station, and now more charging stations than petrol stations. But I want to see thousands more chargepoints installed across the UK.

“This fund will help drum up further investment in charging infrastructure from the private sector, so charging an electric car becomes as easy as plugging in a smart phone.”

The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund will be managed and invested on a commercial basis by private sector partners, and government will invest up to £200m to be matched by private investors.

The fund is leveraging private investment to support the rollout of charge points for electric vehicles across the UK. The initial £70m investment has been provided by government and Masdar.

Further investment into green technology also announced

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has also unveil £142.9 million of investment in green projects, including driving forward approaches to removing greenhouse gases from the air.

Five projects are benefiting from the cash injection.

  • Greenhouse Gas Removal Technologies (£31.52m) – this will support the UK in its net zero ambitions, by driving forward approaches to remove greenhouse gases from the sky on a large scale
  • Clean Air: Addressing the Challenge of Indoor and Outdoor Pollution (£22m) – the next decade will see declining transport pollution but increases in other areas like household products and adhesives. This project will look at tackling emerging air pollutants indoors and outdoors, such as air fresheners and cleaning products, to minimise their effects on public health
  • Cleaner food systems for healthy people and a healthy planet (£47 million) –– this will transform UK diets to be healthier and more sustainable through changes in production, manufacturing, retail and consumption. It will deliver coherent evidence to enable concerted action from policy, business and civil society to help the UK meet its targets on obesity and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reusing and recycling materials in innovative ways (£30 million) – this programme will drive forward new research to support opportunities to re-use and recycle materials across sectors such as food, water, textiles and electronics – as well accelerating new, greener manufacturing technologies
  • Sustainable Management of Marine Resources (£12.43m) – This programme will ensure that the UK realises sustainable societal and economic benefits through better management of the UK’s marine resources, including working more closely with government, industry and the public.