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£5000 electric car grants to cut a quarter off EV price

Fri, 26 Feb 2010

British motorists will qualify for grants lopping a quarter off the price of electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen cars – up to a maximum of £5000 discount – the Government confirmed this week.

The Office for Low Emissions Vehicles, which launched six months ago, said the new grants would come into force from January 2011 as part of a £230 million low-carbon car incentive programme. Car buyers will qualify for the Plug-In Car Grant from an approved list of low-carbon cars.

More details also emerged this week over the winners of the UK’s Plugged-In Places project. It’ll determine which areas will win Government support for planned infrastructure for electric vehicles.

London, Milton Keynes and the north east are the three areas to snatch the original investment to subsidise the installation of 11,000 power points and quick-drop recharging bays. However, the £30m set aside for the three regional infrastructures seems small fry to create a viable recharging network for electric cars.

Don’t worry. The second wave of bids are being submitted to the scheme in June 2010 and recharging networks are already proposed by the West Midlands, Cornwall, Sheffield, the Lake District, Greater Manchester and Northern Ireland.

Both the Plug-In Car Grant and Plugged-In Places schemes were originally announced in March 2009, but further details emerged this week as OLEV made its annoucement.

‘This incentive scheme signals a significant commitment by government and industry to promote ultra-low carbon vehicles and is great news for motorists,’ said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. ‘The UK is determined to be a world-leader in developing the field of ultra-low carbon vehicles, sustaining and creating high-skill jobs, attracting inward investment and producing cutting-edge products. Manufacturers develop and produce new technology where demand exists. This incentive will encourage international investment in the UK as well as helping motorists cut CO2 emissions.’

By Tim Pollard