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The government is set to invest in the development and manufacture of batteries to enhance the growth of electric vehicles and plug-hybrid vehicles.

Chancellor, Philip Hammond announced in his Spring Budget, that an investment of  £270 million will be used to develop innovative technologies, such as extended battery range and driverless technology. This will form part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

The ISCF forms part of the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), which includes an investment of £390 million in ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), renewable fuels, and connected and autonomous vehicles by 2020-21. This funding also includes an £80 million investment in ULEV charging infrastructure and was announced in the Autumn 2016 statement.

Claire Evans, head of fleet consultancy at Zenith, said: “We saw £270 million allocated to keep the UK at the forefront of disruptive technologies that will include funding for the development, design and manufacture of batteries to power the next generation of electric vehicles. Increased range on new battery technology will speed their adoption by fleets.

“The £16 million made available for a new 5G mobile technology hub will also support the move toward driverless vehicles. A £690 million competition for local authorities to tackle urban congestion and get local transport networks moving again is a welcome addition.”