Minister Promotes Link Between Electric Vehicles and Public Health
Speaking at the Low-Carbon Vehicle Partnership annual conference in London, Transport Minister Andrew Jones has called for greater public awareness of the advantages to local air quality of buying electric cars. The MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, who took up his position in May, believes most people still fail to make the link between ultra-low emission vehicles and public health. “Having come from local into central government, I’m aware that big concepts like global warming and climate change can seem remote and distant to people’s everyday lives,” he said. “Ultra-low emission vehicles not only help tackle climate change, they make our air cleaner too, cutting levels of particulates and other pollutants. Reducing levels of particulate matter could help prevent up to 29,000 premature deaths annually.”
The government is investing £500 million to increase the take up of ultra-low emission vehicles through the Go Ultra Low scheme, which highlights more than 20 vehicles currently available on the UK market. At the end of 2014 there were 665,000 electric vehicles on the road across the world, representing about one percent of all passenger cars. It is expected that the number of vehicles could rise to a market share of 5% by 2020, prompted by stricter emission limits introduced to combat deteriorating air quality in many major cities.