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Car park changes will see spaces painted green to allow electric-only parking bays in popular areas such as tourist sites and shopping centres. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has revealed extra charge points will be installed at popular destinations.
An extra £12million fund for research and development project will also support a range of “ground breaking projects”.
This includes plans to introduce super-rapid charging bays able to top up model within just six minutes.
Announcing the changes on World EV day yesterday, Mr Shapps said the plans revealed the government’s “support for a cleaner, greener transport”.
He said: “Whether you’re taking a trip with the family or commuting to work, with the wide range of models at competitive prices, it is now more cost-effective and convenient than ever to drive and charge an electric vehicle.
“This, together with our continued support for R&D, will see talented UK-based SMEs flourish, as well as more than 6,000 skilled jobs created up and down the country.
“This is why, on the world’s first-ever day dedicated to celebrating electric vehicles, I’m delighted to announce our unwavering support for a cleaner, greener transport future.”
Mr Shapps has previously hinted that the introduction of green number plates this Autumn could lead to further benefits for owners.
The AA previously revealed the new plates will allow councils to introduce financial rewards and extra incentives to switch.
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Edmund King previously revealed this may include free parking and exemption from some low emission zones.
Mat and Laura Thomson, founders of electric car specialists Power My EV, said the changes marked a “fantastic moment” for the industry.
They said: “A small perk like parking spaces reserved exclusively for drivers of electric models gives other drivers a daily nudge about the advantages of an electric vehicle.
“Electric vehicles are quietly taking a larger share of the UK market, and should be taken seriously if we want to move towards a greener future.
“Whilst the green spaces would be a welcome initiative, other measures to help incentivise people switch to EVs are much needed.
“More charging points at locations such as supermarkets, service stations and popular tourist attractions, and fewer apps to download, are also necessary to tempt anyone worried about how an EV will fit with their lives.”
But the latest changes were not viewed positively from everyone in the industry with the RAC highlighting some concerns.
Although RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis revealed the UK was “moving in the right direction” with electric vehicles, he revealed more needed to be done.
Mr Dennis said the changes were “unlikely” to be the “strong trigger” the Government is hoping for to boost take-up of the new vehicles.
He said: “There remains a way to go, and while the sight of green parking spaces for priority parking could be an alluring prospect for some to go electric.
“It’s probably unlikely to be the strong trigger the Government wants to get more of us opting for an EV.
“Drivers continue to tell us that the biggest barrier to them opting for an electric car over one fuelled by petrol or diesel is the upfront cost.
“The price of running an electric car is much lower than a petrol or diesel one, but people need to be able to afford them in the first place.”
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