Theresa May has announced a £106m package for projects developing 'green battery', vehicle and refuelling technology.
The prime minister announced the cash at the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham on Tuesday (11 September).
The Government has also unveiled a new international declaration that it said will ‘forge the way for the worldwide deployment of green vehicles, and the introduction of smart, zero-emission infrastructure’.
Government officials said the first signatories to the ‘Birmingham Declaration’ include Italy, France, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Belarus and Indonesia, with more nations currently in talks to sign up.
The declaration will form the basis of increasing international engagement at climate conferences throughout the year to accelerate the global transition, officials said.
The prime minister said: ‘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.’
Although Ms May referred to new cars and vans being ‘effectively’ zero emission by 2040, the Government’s plan to ban conventional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, which many have criticised as being too slow, will still allow hybrid vehicles to be sold after that date.
The prime minister also hosted an automotive roundtable with supply-chain companies from Germany, the USA, Japan, China, Spain and India, ‘to explore what more the government and industry can do together to accelerate the development of the zero-emissions market and to highlight the UK’s strong offer’.
The Government also said that ‘key industries in this sector’ had announced £500m investment in projects relating to low emission technology, creating 1,000 jobs across the UK.
These include a further £50m investment from Aston Martin at its St Athan facility in Wales, which will become its centre for electrification and the EV Network, a UK-based charging station development company, developing 200 fast-charging stations throughout the UK, representing an investment of around £200m.