Up to 35 public sector organisations are being asked to bid for funding from a £5m scheme to support ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), transport minister Baroness Kramer announced on Tuesday January 14.

Organisations including the police, fire services and the NHS will be able to test their ULEV-readiness, as part of a drive to get electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles into the fleets of central government.

The scheme was announced last year and is being opened to the wider public sector. Winners will be offered a fully-funded fleet review to identify how to introduce greener vehicles.

The first phase saw 15 government departments launch reviews of their vehicle fleets and will see around 150 vehicles begin to enter fleets from February. The second phase is expected to see more than 200 plug-in vehicles introduced to the fleets of other public sector organisations.

Baroness Kramer said: “We want the public sector to lead by example. This £5m investment will see a significant increase in the number of plug-in vehicles used by public bodies such as local authorities, police forces and the NHS and help both the environment and the economy. I look forward to seeing the results.”

The £5m is in addition to £500m to encourage development and take-up of ULEVs announced by the deputy prime minister in April 2014.