First electric cars to qualify for £5,000 grant revealed

The Government hopes 2011 could be the year of the electric car as it today (December 14) announces the first nine electric cars to qualify for its 25% grant.

In January next year car buyers who opt for an electric vehicle – which meets the Government’s guidelines – will get about 25% off the price up to £5,000.

Firstly, three vehicles will be available under the scheme Mitsubishi’s iMiEV, Mercedes-Benz’s smart fortwo ED and Peugeot’s iON.

Another six cars, including Toyota’s new Prius Plug-in, will also qualify for the discount when their new models are released throughout 2011.

Prius Plug-in is equipped with a lithium-ion battery so the car can run on electric power alone for up to 12.5 miles and at speeds up to 62mph with zero fuel consumption and no tailpipe emissions.

Toyota managing director, Jon Williams, said: “I welcome today’s announcement which demonstrates that Toyota’s advanced, user friendly plug-in technology is recognised as having significant potential to make a valuable contribution to the UK’s low carbon transport strategy.

“Toyota is committed to developing sustainable low emissions mobility and Prius Plug-in marks an important step in our environmental leadership, delivering exceptional emissions and fuel performance in urban driving.

“This consumer incentive scheme will further strengthen the case for Prius Plug-in among private and fleet owners, following the model’s market introduction in 2012.”

The other five cars that will come into the scheme are Citroen’s CZero, Nissan’s Leaf, Tata’s Vista EV, Vauxhall’s Ampera and Chevrolet’s Volt.

Five new areas, Greater Manchester, east of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, will share £20 million to install electric vehicle charging points.

However, despite saying the need for electric cars was there as we ‘can’t go back to riding on horses’ Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson interviewed on the BBC this morning, said: “Unfortunately they just don’t work.”

Luke Walsh

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