Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 17th December 2018

Lowering car emissions has become one of the most popular topics in the car industry, and there was plenty to discuss at the inaugural Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Summit held in Birmingham back in September. Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech was a key part of the summit, with her revealing plans to position the UK as a leader in EV technology.

May said there will be a funding injection of £106 million supplied by the UK government and an extra £500 million investment from “key industries in this sector.” In her own words, “I want 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 accounting for one in five sold in Europe.”

May’s plans fit in with the previously announced ‘Road to Zero’ strategy. At least 1000 UK jobs will be created and May’s speech highlighted the government’s pledge to donate “over £10 million of funding for innovators in ultra-low emission vehicles and hydrogen technology.” She also added that the new initiative will “drive the design, use, uptake and infrastructure necessary for cleaner, greener vehicles.”  These developments will be crucial for ensuring the UK can meet the regulations set up in the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

There are a variety of companies that are going to invest in projects, such as Aston Martin and powertrain specialist Cummins. Aston Martin are investing £50 million into its new St Athan plant in Wales, while Cummins are planning to spend £210 million in R&D over the next three years in the UK. Jaguar Land Rover are teaming up with carbon fibre moguls Sigmatex to create lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures.

To read the entirety of May’s speech, you can check it out on gov.co.uk.