Twelve UK cities have been shortlisted to share £35 million in funding aimed at promoting ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

Set up by the UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Department for Transport, the £35 million Go Ultra Low City Scheme is supposed to deliver a step-change in the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles. The program will reward cities that demonstrate most potential to achieve ‘exemplar status’ – becoming internationally outstanding examples for the adoption of ULEVs in a local area.

The 12 cities are: City of York Council; Department for Regional Development of Northern Ireland; Dundee City Council; Greater London Authority; Leicester City Council; Milton Keynes Council; North East Combined Authority; Nottingham City Council; Oxford City Council Sheffield City Council; West of England; West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

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These cities will now fully develop their proposals over summer and the winners, expected to be between two to four cities, will be announced in the autumn.

“This funding is an unequivocal signal from government that we are committed to making ultra-low emission vehicles a practical and viable choice for more people,” said Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer. “Today’s shortlist of 12 Go Ultra Low Cities from across the country is an important part of our effort to improve air quality and establish the UK as a global leader in the uptake of low and ultra-low emissions vehicles. This can help to transform people’s quality of life in their cities and is an important step towards our 2050 vision when almost every car, bus and van in the UK will be an ultra-low emission vehicle.”

Going even further, an additional £30 million has been announced to enable local authorities and bus operators to replace existing vehicles with greener alternatives to help clean up urban air quality.

These investments are part of a £500 million package set aside for ULEVs that was announced last year.