Nottingham City Council is paving the way towards a low carbon transport future.

The council is launching a bid with aims to develop the city centre in to a low emission zone.

The bid means the authority has applied for £8.5m of funding from the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

The Go Ultra Low City bid is supporting a Government-led competition for cities to adopt ultra low emission vehicles between 2015 and 2021. If successful it could mean Nottingham will become one of the first Go Ultra Low cities.

The bid will fund setting up infrastructure for charging points, increasing the electric bus fleet and workshops to encourage switching to electric vehicles.

Nottingham is trailblazing ultra-low carbon emission vehicles (ULEVs) and is named one of Europe’s three ‘Lighthouse’ cities. It already holds Europe’s largest electric bus fleet with 45 full electric buses and has recently extended the electric NET tram line by three lines spanning 34km.

Mike McCambridge, Nottingham City Council member, said: “We aim to make Nottingham greener and cleaner. This is a double whammy because it is lowering carbon emissions and improving the efficiency of the transport system.”

“Low carbon alternatives are real, here and relevant.”

As part of the funding, low carbon technology experts at Cenex are evolving their Low Carbon Vehicle masterclass to an online format. This will deliver networking and skills training across sectors.

Luke Redfern, commercial partnerships manager at Cenex, said: “Nottingham has pioneered low carbon technology and is a flagship city that demonstrates that low carbon alternatives are real, here and relevant.”

There are a variety of other innovative bids already in place, including £25.5m to replace 80 low efficiency buses with 82 gas powered double-deckers and putting radio chargers in the roads to charge buses on the go.

Two local private hire companies are also operating six full electric and 150 hybrid vehicles, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure is already in place at key Park & Ride sites, workplaces and destinations.

If the new bid is granted, the funding the City Council get will develop the city centre in to a low emission zone, with ultra-low emission vehicles across the whole transport system.

The Government will be revealing the successful bidders at the end of November.