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UK announces incentives for electric-car buyers

electric-car-charging-stationBusiness Secretary Peter Mandelson and Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon today unveiled the Government’s vision to promote ultra low-carbon transport over the next five years.

A key element of the strategy is helping ordinary motorists afford electric cars with £2,000 to £5,000 worth of assistance for buying their first electric or plug-in hybrid car. Such vehicles are expected to become widely available starting in 2011.

The Government has recently committed to making low-carbon transport central to its vision for the UK economy. Today’s announcement is aimed at promoting the necessary infrastructure and support technology, encouraging manufacture in Britain and incentivising consumers.

Th £250 million scheme to deliver a green motoring transformation is part of a wider Government effort to help consumers and businesses make the transition to low carbon.

“Cutting road transport CO2 emissions is a key element to tackling climate change,” Hoon said. “Less than 0.1 per cent of the UK’s 26 million cars are electric, so there is a huge untapped potential to reduce emissions.”

He added, “The scale of incentives we’re announcing today will mean that an electric car is a real option for motorists as well as helping to make the UK a world leader in low-carbon transport.”

The programme also aims to provide £20 million for charging points and related infrastructure to support a network of ‘electric car cities’ throughout the UK, and to expand an electric and ultra-low carbon car demonstration project on Britain’s roads. The project will give more than 200 motorists throughout the country an opportunity to drive a cutting-edge car and provide feedback to help make greener motoring an everyday reality.

“Britain has taken a world lead in setting ambitious targets for carbon reduction,” Mandelson said. “Low-carbon vehicles will play a key role in cutting emissions. Government must act now to ensure that the business benefits of this ambition are realised here in the UK. We want the British motor industry to be a leader in the low carbon future, and Government must direct and support this, through what I call new industrial activism.”

1 Comment

  • Tracey Rawling Church
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I’m confused by this story. The government says it wants to promote ultra-lowcarbon transport, but our electricity supply is derived primarily from burning fossil fuels and more coal-fired power stations are planned. Surely it won’t be possible to transition to 100% renewable electricity supply by 2011, so the subsidised electric cars will still produce carbon emissions. Has anybody worked out whether a car powered by electricity from a coal fired power station is more carbon efficient than a low-emission petrol car?

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