Electric car grants get green light

Posted on 28 Jul 2010 by The Manufacturer

The ‘Plug-In Car Grant’ designed to stimulate demand for low-carbon vehicles will go ahead from January 2011, the Transport Secretary announced today.

Speaking at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) offices, Philip Hammond confirmed that motorists will receive a grant of up to 25% of the up-front value of the vehicle, capped at £5000, when buying an electric, plug-in or hydrogen fuel car.

However, there will now only be a pot of £43m available for the scheme, rather than the £230m quoted by Labour when the antecedent government first broached the scheme.

This is provided the vehicle meets safety, reliability, performance and warranty requirements. The Business Minister, Mark Prisk, said that the consumer incentive would help Britain become one of the leading centers for the design, development and manufacture of ultra-low carbon vehicles.

SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt, said: “This is great news for industry and a significant commitment by the new government to create UK jobs in the emerging market for ultra-low carbon vehicles. We are sending a clear signal that Britain is open for business and that we are committed to greening our economy. This will ensure that the UK is a world leader in low emission vehicles.” He called today’s announced an “important step” in helping to attract new investment and laying the foundations for thousands of new high-skilled jobs.

The £43m pot has been made available for the scheme up until the end of March 2012. The final budget beyond 2011/12 will be confirmed at the spending review in January 2012 and will take into consideration the cost of the vehicles and the size of the market. Mr. Hammond said that this is to ensure that taxpayers get value for money and the UK remains competitive.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said: “Electric and low carbon cars are fun to drive and essential to meet our climate change targets. That’s why we need a massive increase in the number of electric and green cars on our roads. Because this is new technology, the Government needs to step in the kick-start the market which is why today’s initiative is vital.”

The ‘Plugged-In Places’ scheme, which was announced last year, will see the installation of over 11’000 charging posts in London, Milton Keynes and the North East with a view to creating the infrastructure to support increased numbers of low carbon vehicles on UK roads. The West Midlands, Cornwall, Sheffield, the Lake District, Greater Manchester, and Northern Ireland have also confirmed they will bid for ‘Plugged-In Places’ funding.

Lorenzo Spoerry