The Go Ultra Low City Scheme is a programme by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles within the Department for Transport. It aims to provide funding to local authorities in the UK that encourages thousands of people to consider switching to an electric car. In turn, this will support the UK’s thriving green vehicle sector, improve air quality in urban hotspots and help the government meets its emission-cutting targets. A number of cities submitted bids for the funding, which can cover a number of innovative projects to encourage low and zero emission vehicles. You can visit the Go Ultra Low website here.
London’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme (GULCS) bid was awarded £13m in capital funding to drive the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles in the period 2015/16 - 2019/20. The London GULCS bid was prepared by TfL, GLA and London Councils in October 2015. The bid was very ambitious, wanting London to become the “Go Ultra-Low emission vehicle Capital”. For this to be achieved London needs extensive and convenient charging infrastructure whilst not costing the boroughs excessively in time or money to install or maintain. In addition, the GULCs programme is aligned to the Mayor’s ambitions to improve air quality and to ensure the commitment in his manifesto that London is carbon free by 2050. You can read London's original bid here.
There are four main streams of work that London is focusing on with the GULCS funding;
- Residential charging – increasing Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) charging infrastructure in residential areas.
- Car clubs - increasing the provision of charging infrastructure in car club bays.
- Rapid EV charging – increasing the provision of rapid EV chargers.
- Neighbourhoods of the Future (NoF) – supporting the delivery of local, innovative projects to prioritise and encourage the uptake of ULEVs.
London aims to be the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) capital of Europe, with ULEVs as a core part of our sustainable transport. The Capital’s world-class transport network means that public transport, walking and cycling are the obvious choice for most journeys in London. However, travel by car is still needed for many journeys. Alongside innovative policies such as the Congestion Charge, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, and the excellent work that boroughs have been doing to improve air quality, the Go Ultra Low City Scheme (GULCS) project will help London on its way to an ultra-low emission future.
Electrical Guidance Document
To assist London boroughs in the delivery of charge points, the London GULCS project team have produced Electrical Guidance available here. This is the first of its kind and is also relevant to authorities outside of London.
The project published a press release in May 2019 to signal the installation of 1,076 new EV charge points through the project to date. The figure is expected to be closer to 1700 by the end of the summer (2019) with more funding to be allocated in the later part of the year. The project has established a framework that London local authorities are able to use to procure electric vehicle charging infrastructure and associated services:
Regular updates are provided on the progress of the project to London Councils' Transport and Environment Committee.
A dedicated Senior Project Officer, is working with London Councils, the GLA and TfL to deliver the scheme.