A �20 million scheme to cut Britain's carbon emissions has been launched with the aim of getting "greener" cars on the road within the next five years.

The government-funded initiative will support companies involved in researching new technologies that help to develop new low carbon-producing vehicles.

Carbon emissions from road transport currently account for 20 per cent of UK domestic emissions, and ministers believe the funding will provide the research and technology industry with the opportunity to get low carbon vehicles on the roads within the next five to seven years. Projects relating to cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, buses and taxis are all eligible for support.

Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson said: "Through our investment in UK-based research and development we want to accelerate the introduction of low carbon vehicles, ahead of what would be achieved by market forces alone." "This funding will help companies in the UK to benefit from the growing domestic and international demand for lower carbon vehicles."

Transport Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, added: "This fund represents an excellent opportunity for UK expertise to help shape a low carbon future for transport and I would urge companies to grasp it with both hands."

Innovation Secretary John Denham has also revealed Loughborough will be the base for a new government-backed Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). The centre aims to bring more focus to Britain's energy, science and engineering drive, and will have a potential budget of more than £1 billion.

The ETI will bring together some of the world's biggest companies, including BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, EON, Rolls-Royce and Shell, and the government hopes the partnership will come up with the ideas and inventions that help cut carbon emissions and provide Britain's future energy supplies.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.