UK plans boost for electric vehicles

The British government has announced plans for substantial cash incentives to encourage motorists to buy electric cars and other ultra-low carbon vehicles.

The incentives – up to £5,000 for the least polluting vehicles – will come into force in January 2011, by which point the necessary plug-in points to charge electric vehicles on the go should be more widespread.

The grant will cover up to a quarter of the cost of the vehicle, capped at £5,000, and will be available for both individuals and companies.

In a separate announcement, London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, said that funding is now in place to have 7,500 electric charge points in the city by spring 2013, with 1,600 to be installed over the next 12 months.

Government’s plug in car grant will see consumers receiving up to £5,000 off the price tag of electric vehicles at the point of sale, so there will be minimal red tape and paperwork to reap the benefits.

The move will be coupled with funding for a series of low carbon vehicle hubs called Plugged in Places, with £30m to be spent on installing 11,000 vehicle recharging points over the next three years.

These will be in London, Milton Keynes and the North East.

London will top up the £9.3m it receives from central Government with £5.6 million provided by Transport for London and £7.6m pledged from a range of leading organisations.

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.”

Boris Johnson said: “I am absolutely thrilled that the Government has recognised the collective commitment to electric vehicle use in the capital.

“This will unleash a large cash injection allowing Londoners to choose electric motoring in confidence.

“We will now be able to significantly speed up our existing plans for an unprecedented introduction of electric vehicle infrastructure, sealing London’s status as the electric capital of Europe.

“The success of this funding bid is testimony to the stellar line up of partner organisations working together with Transport for London, who are together are providing money and their unstinting support to shift electric vehicle use away from niche to the mainstream.”

Sam Bond

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