Government offers sweetener for electric vehicles

Consumers looking to buy electric or hybrid vehicles can expect to see up to £5,000 slashed from the showroom price tag by 2011 as Government seeks to persuade motorists to opt for low-carbon cars.

While details of the funding are still under development, top ministers have now announced they want to put low carbon vehicles within the reach of ordinary motorists by providing financial help worth £2,000-£5,000 when they buy one of these cars.

It is unclear whether this funding would come in the form of tax incentives or a price reduction up front, nor whether it would need to be applied for as a grant or administered by the industry.

The intention was announced at a high-profile press event at Knockhill Racing Circuit, Dunfermline, Fife by Business Secretary Peter Mandelson and Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon, who also took the opportunity to test-drive electric cars at the race track.

The funding is part of a £250m scheme to ‘deliver a green motoring transformation’.

The strategy also includes plans to provide £20 million for charging points and related infrastructure to help develop a network of ‘electric car cities’ throughout the UK and an expansion of an electric and ultra-low carbon car demonstration project on the UK’s roads.

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

“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.”

Sam Bond

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie