Transport Minister, Robert Goodwill has opened a new electric and hybrid vehicle analytical and testing centre at Milton Keynes which will support the government’s drive to ensure that every new car and van sold in the UK will be emission-free by 2040.
Citing the UK as being 'the largest market for ultra-low emission vehicles in Europe' at last week's launch, he said: 'We are backing the industry with a £600 million investment until 2020 to ensure that every new UK car and van is a zero emission vehicle by 2040'. The sum represents a funding increase announced in the government's November 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement.
Run by global technology testing and inspection specialist company Intertek, the new centre incorporates high-capacity battery simulators, designed to trial the capability for new plug-in cars to offer extended ranges, as well as advanced emissions measurement equipment.
Intertek MK managing director, Tony Braddon, expects the site to create 100 automotive industry jobs around Milton Keynes and support thousands more across the country by bolstering the manufacture of greener vehicles.
In 2015, Milton Keynes Council was shortlisted as one of twelve contenders to become a centre of excellence for low emission vehicles under the government’s £35 million Go Ultra Low City Scheme, on the strength of its rapid electric vehicle charger network, electric bus project, which is saving 500 tonnes of tailpipe CO2 emissions per year, and role as a testing ground for environmentally-friendly driverless 'pod' vehicles.