The UK’s auto industry trade body, SMMT, has welcomed UK Government measures announced in the Budget that are designed to support ultra-low carbon technologies.

Commenting on the Budget, SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt said: “Measures to encourage more and better priced lending to consumers and businesses, alongside additional support for investment in low carbon vehicle technologies is further evidence of the new priority given to UK motor manufacturing. There is disappointment that the introduction of the first year VED rates have not been deferred, but the doubling of the annual investment allowance will give a lift to the commercial vehicle market.” 

A series of measures supporting companies throughout the UK motor industry were announced, designed to support investment in ultra-low carbon technologies:

  • GBP30m allocation from the Strategic Investment Fund to support development of low carbon vehicles. 
  • A Nuneaton ‘intelligent transport technology’ test centre.
  • The Technology Strategy Board’s competition to develop low and ultra-low carbon vehicle supply chains.
  • A second Green Bus competition.
  • Commitment to greater support for SMEs through the UK ‘finance for growth’ scheme and provision of measures to encourage lending.

Furthermore, the Government took action to encourage business investment in new vehicles and specifically in ultra-low carbon technology by:

  • Introducing a lower 5% rate of company car tax for vehicles emitting between 1 and 75g/km CO2.
  • 100% first-year capital allowance for zero-carbon goods vehicles.
  • Doubling the Annual Investment Allowance for small businesses to GBP100K (industry seeks clarity on whether this measure also extends to larger businesses). 

The success of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme was credited with a 30% rise in sales against expectations, with government reiterating the importance of a balanced economy and the key role manufacturing has to play.