North East bids for share of £35million electric car cash

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The North East is bidding for a share of £35million Government cash to boost the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) such as the Sunderland-built Nissan Leaf.

The North East Combined Authority – which brings together Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, Northumberland and Durham Councils – is one of 12 vying to be chosen as one of UK’s first Go Ultra Low Cities.

Set up by The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the Go Ultra Low Cities Scheme will reward areas which show the potential to deliver a significant increase in the uptake of ULEVs.

The winners will be announced before the end of the year, with each likely to see thousands of new ULEVs on their roads over the next five years as a result.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “We are determined to maintain international leadership on the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles.

“I look forward to seeing the winning ideas for greener, cheaper cars in action.

“This funding for eco-cities is part of our £500million funding programme over the next five years to support British industry and achieve our ambition of almost every car, bus and van in the UK being ultra low emission by 2050.”

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low said: “We’re excited by the passion and innovation demonstrated by cities across the UK, and we look forward to congratulating the UK’s first Go Ultra Low Cities.

“We will work closely with the winning regions to help increase motorists’ awareness of the variety, economy and practicality of ultra low emission vehicles.”