William Eichler 09 September 2020

Highways England to invest £9m in EV ‘try before you buy’ scheme

Highways England has announced that it is investing over £9m in a local government electric vehicle (EV) ‘try before you buy’ scheme as part of World EV day.

The company is handing £9.3m to local authorities to encourage businesses with diesel van fleets to make the switch to electric. It works by offering the businesses a free trial of electric vehicles for two months.

Following a pilot with the Energy Saving Trust and a launch with Leeds City Council earlier in the year, councils in Coventry, Kent, Nottingham, and Sheffield are working to set up their own schemes. Bristol City Council has also agreed to a deal that will see Highways England provide it with £3m of funding.

The scheme has been made possible by Highways England’s Designated Funds programme designed to benefit people, the economy and the planet with an overall investment of £936m between 2020 and 2025.

‘We are working with councils across the country to encourage businesses to make the switch to electric vehicles and we expect many more to start using electric vehicles when they experience the savings possible,’ said Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive.

‘This is a key example of how we are using designated funds to benefit the environment and communities around our roads as well as the people travelling and working on them.’

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