More major carmakers join Government push for ULEVs

Audi, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen have joined the UK Government's Go Ultra Low campaign which aims to increase the take-up of 'plug-in' cars and vans.

The three car brands join existing members BMW, Nissan, Renault and Toyota in providing support to the one-stop shop providing information on the types of vehicles and government grants available to those seeking to purchase an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV).

Together, the seven manufacturers offer a range of 15 ULEVs on the Campaign’s website, listing full details of costs and performance along with an online tool to help people decide which model suits their needs best.

“More UK car-buyers are realising the advantages of owning an ultra-low emission vehicle, and the aim of the newly-expanded Go Ultra Low consortium is to share the multiple benefits with a wider audience. We’ve discovered that once people learn more about the benefits of these cars and vans, they’re keen to take action – and once they’ve tried them, they’re hooked.” Go Ultra Low spokesperson Hetal Shah said.

Financial support

The Government is offering grants of £5,000 towards the purchase of every ULEV car and £8,000 towards the purchase of a van. More than 25,000 grant claims have been submitted to Government since the scheme began in 2010. It will continue offering grants until 50,000 claims have been made, or 2017, whichever comes first.

“The public are increasingly seeing the benefits of ultra low emission vehicles, which have low running costs and are easily chargeable at home or on the street. We now have 7 manufacturers campaigning to show the wide range of styles and prices available so even more people will see what’s on offer, and the significant government help available.” Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said.

Demand revs up

The Go Ultra Low campaign was launched by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the start of 2014 as a tool to assist in the Government’s aim for ULEVs to account for every new vehicle on the road by 2040. The Government said it will invest £500m between 2015 and 2020 to boost the ULEV industry and help drivers afford to transition.

Last month, edie reported that there had been a ‘remarkable surge’ in demand in the UK, with sales of plug-in hybrid cars increasing four-fold in 2014. Annual figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) – including electric cars and hybrids – rose by 58% last year, with 51,739 new AFVs registered.

Lucinda Dann

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