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  • Dusan Mijailovic

Fossil fuel cars and vans would be banned from sale in the UK by 2030

The Department for Transport (DfT) today launched a £20 million research and development competition to finance "the most promising electric vehicle (EV) technology innovations," while it reported that fossil fuel cars and vans would be banned from sale in the UK by 2030.

The money, which will be channeled into the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), will promote the government's goal of phasing out all purchases of fossil-fuelled and hybrid cars by 2035, which will result in the creation of 6,000 qualified jobs, according to the Department for Transport.

It went on to say that programs to enhance battery recycling, increase EV range capability, increase electric van use, and extend access to off-street residential charging may all be eligible for support.

The decision came when the government released its response to a consultation on ending the selling of petrol and diesel cars, confirming plans to phase out all internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030 and to outlaw sales of plug-in hybrid cars by 2035, essentially guaranteeing that the whole UK fleet converts to fully electric vehicles over the next few decades.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the new funding would "help harness some of the brightest talent in the UK tech industry, encouraging businesses to become global leaders in EV innovation, creating jobs and accelerating us towards our net-zero ambitions".

"Investing in innovation is crucial in decarbonising transport, which is why I'm delighted to see creative zero-emission projects across the UK come to life," he said.

The announcement came as the government confirmed a series of new innovation funding competitions, all backed by £92 million in funding, to support energy storage, floating offshore wind power, and sustainable biomass production projects, as announced in last week's Budget.

The funding is part of the government's £1 billion net zero innovation program, which aims to help clean tech developers advance the next generation of technologies to help the UK transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to the government.

Up to £68 million has been set aside for an energy storage R&D competition in support of the UK's growing transition to intermittent renewable energy sources, while £20 million has been set aside to support floating offshore wind and £4 million has been allocated to increase the supply of sustainable biomass energy feedstock in the UK.

Most of the green economy was disappointed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget last week, with critics claiming that it essentially struggled to deliver on high expectations that the Treasury would deliver a big green stimulus package.

However, Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the funding competitions confirmed today would allow the government to "develop new ways of unlocking the potential for green energy as we continue, making big strides towards our goal or eradicating our contribution to climate change by 2050".

"The UK's energy innovators have been vital to us becoming a world-leader in clean green technology, helping us to go further and faster as we tackle climate change," she added.

In other green funding news, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced the second round of the £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund, which will award grants of up to £2 million to environmental charities and their supporters throughout England to help them create jobs whilst restoring nature and combating climate change.

In November, the Fund's first round of funding was announced, with 68 projects receiving funding to help kick-start projects such as nature-based solutions, nature conservation, climate mitigation and adaptation, and engaging people with nature.


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