The government has thrown its weight behind electric and driverless vehicles by announcing a £400m fund to establish a network of charging points across the UK.
Chancellor Philip Hammond highlighted the need for electric vehicles to pave the way for driverless ones during his Budget speech, which he hopes will hit UK roads by 2021.
An additional £100m will go to a Plug-In-Car grant, which reduces the price consumers pay for brand new electric and hybrid vehicles, and £40m to charging point research and development.
Mr Hammond failed to announce expected regulatory changes necessary for wider testing of driverless cars on UK roads, opting to enthusiastically back more easily-attainable electric car infrastructure.
“There is perhaps no technology as symbolic of the revolution gathering pace around us as driverless vehicles. I know Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t like them but there are many other good reasons to pursue this,” he joked.
“So, today we step up our support for it. Sorry Jeremy, but definitely not the first time you’ve been snubbed by Hammond and May.
“Our future vehicles will be driverless, but they’ll be electric first, and that’s a change that needs to come as soon as possible.”
While experts hail the many benefits driverless cars could bring, obstacles must be overcome before they can become commonplace on our roads. Much of the UK lacks the infrastructure required for self-driving cars to navigate, while public unease and fear over the potential impact on the jobs of human drivers remain.