17 Apr 2009 03:04:36
British motorists to be given electric car subsidy
Motorists in the UK will be offered incentives worth up to £5,000 in order to buy electric cars, under government proposals unveiled this week.
The financial policy is part of a £250 million strategy that was launched by transport secretary Geoff Hoon and business secretary Lord Mandelson.
Expected to be introduced in 2011 - once new electric and plug-in hybrid cars have been rolled out - its aim will be to help reduce the transport industry's carbon emissions which currently account for a quarter of Britain's total output.
Approximately £20 million will also be spent building charging points around cities and running pilots to test viability of the infrastructure.
The government hopes that subsidies, ranging from £2,000 to £5,000, depending on the green credentials of a vehicle, will encourage early adopters who might otherwise be put off by the premium price tags attached to new models.
Currently, there are only a small number of electric cars on the road, but BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Toyota and General Motors are among the companies planning to launch plug-in vehicles over the next three years.
Unveiling the scheme, Lord Mandelson said: "Low carbon vehicles will play a key role in cutting emissions. Government must act now to ensure that the business benefits of this ambition are realised here in the UK."
However, shadow chancellor George Osborne dismissed the scheme as "fantasy", suggesting it lacks the necessary detail and planning to provide a sustained increase in the number of electric cars on the roads.http://interactive.berr.gov.uk/lowcarbon/