May to pledge £106m to lead electric vehicle production

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her keynote speech to delegates and party members on the last day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. The prime minister rallied members and called for the party to 'shape up' and 'go forward together'. Theresa May also announced a major programme to build council houses and a cap on energy prices. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Theresa May is due to set out plans for the UK to be at the forefront of developing and producing zero-emission vehicles.

The Prime Minister will use a speech in Birmingham today to pledge a £106 million funding boost for research and development in the sector which also covers new batteries and low-carbon technology.

Mrs May is expected to tell the UK’s first-ever Zero Emission Vehicle Summit that the Government has an “ambitious mission” to ensure Britain is a leader in the green technology field.

The PM will say: “I want to see Britain, once again, leading from the front and working with industries and countries around the world to spearhead change.

“That is why I have set this country an ambitious mission. To put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.

“Already we are taking significant strides forward. Our electric UK-manufactured cars account for one in five sold in Europe. Our batteries are among the best in the world.

“And our Road to Zero Strategy is the most comprehensive plan globally – mapping out in detail how we will reach our target for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040 – and for every car and van to be zero emission by 2050.

“Today we have provided over £100 million of funding for innovators in ultra-low emission vehicles and hydrogen technology, with a further £500 million of investment from key
industries in this sector.

“These measures will drive the design, use, uptake and infrastructure necessary for cleaner, greener vehicles and in doing so it will help us drastically
reduce a major contributor to our global warming emissions as we seek to meet the Paris climate change agreement.”

Mrs May is using the event to hold roundtable talks on accelerating the development of the zero-emissions market and
driving more foreign direct investment into the UK.

The PM will hold talks with leading supply-chain companies from Germany, the US, Japan, China, Spain and India at the event.

The Government will also unveil a new international initiative, dubbed the “Birmingham deceleration”, aimed at paving the way for the worldwide deployment of green vehicles and introduction of smart, zero-emission infrastructure.

The first signatories to the deceleration include Italy, France, Denmark, UAE, Portugal, Belarus and Indonesia.