Government subsidy to spark green motoring revolution

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Car Rental News - 16/12/2010


The UK government announced electric car subsidies worth up to £5,000.

The British government has announced a campaign under which British buyers of electric cars can qualify for subsidies of up to £5,000. The programme, worth £400 million, is aimed at fostering greater interest in the acquisition of the most environmentally-friendly cars.

The government has listed nine cars that will qualify for the subsidy. All of them are fully electric. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Smart fortwo electric drive and the Peugeot iON are the first three to become available in Britain. They will be followed by the Citroen CZero, the Tata Vista EV, the Nissan Leaf, the Vauxhall Ampera, the Toyota Prius and the Chevrolet Volt.

The first electric cars will be available from January next year but only the Mitsubishi i-MiEV will actually be available for sale. The Smart fortwo electric drive and the Peugeot iON will initially only be available on leases. The other models will become available over the rest of next year and 2012. More low-carbon emission cars are expected to become available under the scheme, which lasts four years.

At the launch, held in London on Tuesday, the government also announced plans to support the expansion of the infrastructure needed to cater to electric vehicles. The Transport Minister, Philip Hammond said grants were available to expand plug-in charging points across Greater Manchester, the Midlands, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the East of England.

Most of the country’s existing charging points are in the Northeast, Milton Keynes and London. Those areas will also receive further financial support from the central fund which is worth £20 million.

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