Next year Whitehall will put up £5,000 for individuals or businesses that purchase electric vehicles from a pot of £230m.
A discount of 25 per cent up to a maximum of £5,000 on the cost of a new ‘ultra low carbon’ car will be footed by the Treasury. The scheme will go live in January next year.
Announcing the details yesterday, business minister Pat McFadden said: “Low carbon vehicles are an important part of the broader shift to a low carbon economy.
“The Government is focusing on this sector as a priority and we are committed to helping British businesses take advantage of the growth potential and job opportunities this presents.”
To qualify for the subsidy, the vehicle being purchased must meet a number of requirements. It must be a plug in electric with emissions of less than 75 g/km or a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and the it must have a minimum range of 70 miles and a minimum top speed of 60mph.
Meanwhile a further £8.2m, matched by local sources, is being put up for charging points in London, the North East and Milton Keynes. This initiative is a pilot scheme in creating the necessary infrastructure to support wide scale take-up of electric cars. In London there will be 6,000 ‘Plugged in Places’ installed at workplaces, 500 in streets, and 350 in public car parks. Overall 11,000 of the charge points will be installed in the three areas over the next three years.
“Decarbonising transport isn’t an aspiration, it’s a reality,” added transport secretary Lord Adonis. “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.”
Nissan welcomed the announcement – buoyed no doubt by the fact that its flagship electric Leaf model meets all the criteria of the newly announced grants.
“We welcome the announcement that the government is to incentivise sales of electric vehicles,” said Paul Willcox, managing director of Nissan in Britain. “These incentives will bring electric vehicle ownership within reach of UK motorists and make cars like the Nissan Leaf a financially viable alternative to conventional petrol and diesel-powered cars.”