Fleet News

Updated: Go Ultra Low campaign to close after funding cut

Go Ultra Low – a joint industry and Government campaign – to promote the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) has failed to secure additional funding.

The campaign, which is supported by the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), vehicle manufacturers, energy providers and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), will close from the end of March.

In a post on LinkedIn, head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch, said: “Unfortunately, we have been unable to secure any further funding from Government, which means that come the end of March we will essentially be wrapping up the campaign.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed building the brand from a fledgling idea to a fully integrated, effective campaign that has done so much to encourage the move to EVs.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) said that since the campaign’s inception in 2014, the Go Ultra Low team had worked tirelessly to promote key messages, dispelling common myths and misconceptions that act as barriers for potential consumers.

A DfT spokesperson explained: “The Go Ultra Low campaign is an excellent example of how Government and industry have collaborated to increase the uptake of electric vehicles – the recent 2020 market-share numbers for plug-in vehicles soaring over 10% is testament to that.

“This Government is committed to building back greener and EVs are key to this, which is why we’re taking on a refreshed and more streamlined approach to our campaigns.”

The DfT says it is very keen to keep working closely with the SMMT and Government will be introducing umbrella campaigns for all communications activities, and these new arrangements will include EVs.

This means that Go Ultra Low will form part of a coordinated cross Government campaign targeting relevant audiences with streamlined messages, it said.

The Government says that it is exploring options for what the future of the campaign might be, but they will recognise the rapidly changing market for EVs, with carmakers dedicating more money and resource to promoting them. 

The SMMT said it was "disappointing" that the campaign was endinging. 

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, told Fleet News: “Over the past six years, the Go Ultra Low campaign has been instrumental in encouraging consumers to embrace new technologies, shaping the perception of plug-in vehicles and increasing uptake to now over 10% of the market share. 

"It’s disappointing that the campaign will not continue beyond March in its current format, but reassuring it is still an essential part of Government’s ambition and will form part of its broader environmental campaigns."

Hawes added that the campaign had been a "standout" partnership between industry and Government, a collaboration that was "envied by other global markets". 

"At a time when industry is investing heavily to bring newer, cleaner vehicles to market, it’s important we maintain the momentum,” he concluded.

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