Investment will be spent on researching and developing battery and green vehicle tech.

Theresa May announced an investment of more than £100 million in environmentally friendly vehicles, as she addressed the UK’s first Zero-Emission Vehicle Summit.

At the event in Birmingham, the Prime Minister will spoke of her “ambitious mission” to put the UK at the spearhead of low-emission vehicle development.

As part of this, the government will free up £106 million of funding for research and development in the fields of green vehicles, battery development and low-carbon technology.

The summit also saw Mrs May host a roundtable conference with leading automotive supply-chain firms from countries including China, Germany and Japan, in a bid to find ways in which the government can accelerate the development of the zero-emission market.

It will be the third installment in a series of government roundtable discussions, which are designed to “promote the UK industry sector opportunities to a global audience” as the government attempts to bring in more foreign investment ahead of Brexit.

At the event, the PM will unveiled a new international declaration, which will “forge the way” for the introduction of a smart, zero-emission electric vehicle infrastructure.

The first signatories to the so-called ‘Birmingham Declaration’ include Denmark, Italy and France, as well as Portugal, Belarus, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.

However, the government claims more countries are already in talks to sign up to an agreement that it hopes will “form the basis of increasing international engagement at climate conferences” to “accelerate the global transition” to low-emission vehicles.

“I want to see Britain, once again, leading from the front and working with industries and countries around the world to spearhead change,” the Prime Minister will say in her speech to the summit.

“That is why I have set this country an ambitious mission. To put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles, and for all new cars and vans to be, effectively, zero-emission by 2040.

“Already, we are taking significant strides forward. Our electric UK-manufactured cars account for one-in-five sold in Europe. Our batteries are among the best in the world. And our Road to Zero Strategy is the most comprehensive plan globally – mapping out, in detail, how we will reach our target for all new cars and vans to be, effectively, zero-emission by 2040 – and for every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050.

“Today we have provided over £100 million of funding for innovators in ultra-low emission vehicles and hydrogen technology. With a further £500 million of investment from key industries in this sector.

“These measures will drive the design, use, uptake and infrastructure necessary for cleaner, greener vehicles – and in doing so, it will help us drastically reduce a major contributor to our global warming emissions, as we seek to meet the Paris Climate Change Agreement.”