Government confirms electric car grant
The implementation had been placed on hold by the Coalition until the autumn spending review, but the Treasury has agreed to ring-fence the money from any cuts, following pressure from carmakers.
Mr Hammond confirmed that from next year, motorists will be entitled to a "Plug-In Car Grant" of up to £5,000 when buying an electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell car, providing it meets safety, reliability, performance and warranty standards set by the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) in consultation with industry.
Mr Hammond commented: 'The Coalition Government is absolutely committed to low carbon growth, tackling climate change and making our energy supply more secure. We are sending a clear signal that Britain is open for business and that we are committed to greening our economy. This will ensure that the UK is a world leader in low-emission vehicles.'
He added: 'We will review the level of the incentive regularly to ensure that the UK remains competitive and taxpayers get value for money. The first review will be in January 2012, at which point we will set the level for subsequent years.'
The Government says that the £43 million earmarked for the scheme will be protected.
It means that anyone who buys an electric plug-in car from next year will get a 25% discount up to a maximum of £5,000.
The grant is open to both private and business fleet buyers across the UK, and will stay in place – unless the money runs out – until 31 March 2012.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said: 'Electric and low carbon cars are fun to drive and essential to meet our climate targets. That’s why we’ll need a massive increase in the number of electric and clean green cars on our roads. Because this is new technology the Government needs to step in to kick start the market which is why today’s initiative is vital.'