Autumn Statement: Budget to see £1 million in funding for Scotland's first e-car rally

Rishi Sunak’s budget is set to include £1 million in funding for Scotland to host its first e-car rally.

The Chancellor has already announced a series of spending pledges ahead of the Autumn Budget this week, including £5 billion for health research and £3bn for education.

Now there is also set to be investment for Scotland to host “Extreme E”.

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To be held in Harris in 2022, the event could see a boost to the local economy as well as highlighting environmental awareness and innovation.

The Duke of Cambridge test drove one of the cars at Knockhill Racing Circuit in Fife earlier this year. Picture: PA

Extreme E is the rally equivalent of Formula E, and organisers are hoping to host a race in the Outer Hebrides after having to pull out of South America.

The Scotsman understands the investment was pushed for by Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, who stressed the benefits both economically and environmentally to Scotland.

A UK Government source said: “It’s great news that the UK Government is helping to bring Extreme E to Scotland.

“It will be a really exciting event, a huge tourism boost, and raise environmental awareness.”

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It is hoped the event will highlight the climate challenges faced by different ecosystems and showcase Hebridean Green Hydrogen to a global audience.

The cars in Extreme E use electric SUVs charged by a portable hydrogen fuel cell.

It also requires the driving teams to have gender equality – each has one male and one female driver/mechanic.

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, tested one of the cars on the rallycross course at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland earlier this year.

Prince William also ran in the Mahindra Racing team’s Formula E simulator as part of his tour of India back in April 2016.

It comes ahead of a budget where the Chancellor has promised once again to do "whatever it takes" to support families.

Writing for The Scotsman ahead of the budget, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford called for Mr Sunak to help tackle the cost of living crisis.

He said: “The SNP is calling for an emergency package to boost household incomes and reverse the damage caused by a decade of cuts. The Chancellor must finally introduce a Real Living Wage, increase statutory sick pay, give public sector workers a meaningful pay rise, and reverse the cuts to Universal Credit."

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