Electric car buyers gain £5,000 subsidy
The car grant will provide 25% towards the cost of purchasing a new ultra-low carbon car, capped at £5,000. It will be open to private and business fleet buyers and will be conditional on vehicles meeting a number of criteria set by the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) in consultation with industry. These include a minimum range of 70 miles, maximum speed of over 60mph and a minimum three-year warranty with the option of an extension to five years. In addition vehicles will need either EC whole vehicle type approval or to have met the EuroNCAP protocol or a similar crash test regime.
The scheme will be effective from January 2011, giving manufacturers a chance to bring such vehicles to market. These include Nissan, which introduces its Leaf five-seat hatchback in March 2011.
Paul Willcox, managing director at Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd, said: 'We welcome the announcement that the government is to incentivise sales of electric vehicles. These incentives will bring electric vehicle ownership within reach of UK motorists and make cars like the Nissan Leaf a financially viable alternative to conventional petrol and diesel-powered cars.'
The DfT has also announced the roll-out of a £30 million fund for a network of electric vehicle hubs – called Plugged-In Places – to create the charging infrastructure required for such cars. London, Milton Keynes and the North East will initially trial the scheme and will create over 11,000 vehicle recharging points during the next three years.
The initiatives are part of a £450 million Government strategy to support the take-up of ultra-low carbon vehicle to help meet the UK’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions from transport and provide business opportunities for the automotive and charging infrastructure sectors.
Transport secretary Andrew Adonis said: 'Decarbonising transport isn't an aspiration – it's a reality. By this time next year, cutting-edge motorists will be on the roads with these next generation cars they've purchased because of our help.
'And thanks to the Plugged-In Places we will have in place infrastructure to support this growing early market.
'Transport has a huge part to play in helping the UK meet its stringent emission reduction targets and today's announcement is another step on the road to putting the UK at the global forefront of ultra-low carbon vehicle development, manufacture and use.'