Drivers choosing electric cars will benefit from a £500 million investment, which extends the government's £5000 EV incentive scheme for three more years

Motorists buying electric cars will be able to claim on the government's £5000 incentive until at least 2017. The extended scheme comes as part of a wider initiative for an extra £500 million worth of funding to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.

The funding, which will be made available from next year until 2020, is being used to create new jobs, grow the existing electric charging point network and encourage drivers to choose electric cars.

By far the biggest chunk of funding, some £200 million, will be used to extend the government's current plug-in electric vehicle grant, continuing the £5000 incentive for buying an electric car. The grant has been extended until at least 2017, or until 50,000 electric cars have been sold. The plug-in electric vehicle grant was initially supposed to end in May next year, and offers drivers significant savings on cars like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and BMW i3. The grant brings the price of an all-electric i3 down from £30,680 down to £25,680.

The existing EV charging infrastructure will also be boosted thanks to £32 million of extra funding, the aim being to make rapid electric charging points available across the UK's motorway and A-road network. The charging network for hybrid commercial vehicles will also be expanded thanks to a £4 million boost.

An extra £100 million will be invested in new technology development, which the government says will create more jobs in the UK motor industry as well as offering more support for the supply chain.

Meanwhile, local authorities will also be able to bid for a share of a £35 million pot to become classed as 'ultra low carbon emissions car cities', by offering incentives for drivers of electric cars. An additional pot of £50 million is also available for investment in cleaner taxis and buses.

Some reports suggest the extension of the plug-in car grant is intended to boost poor sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, which represented just 0.011 per cent of all cars on the road in 2013, down from 0.061 per cent in 2012 and 0.055 per cent in 2011. A total of 2512 alternatively-fuelled cars were registered last year, with sales in 2014 off to a good start thanks to 823 new registrations in March alone.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: "Owning an electric car is no longer a dream or an inconvenience. Manufacturers are turning to this new technology to help motorists make their every day journeys green and clean.

"This major investment is there to make driving an electric car affordable, convenient, and free from anxiety about the battery running out. But it’s also about creating a culture change in our towns and cities so that driving a greener vehicle is a no-brainer for most drivers."

UK bodies including the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have welcomed the move, with SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes saying: "The move towards a low carbon vehicle future must be built around the three pillars of consumer incentives, strategically focused infrastructure and increased leverage for R&D support".

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11

29 April 2014

if the government withdrew this grant just when Volkswagen finally managed to build and offer electric cars like e-up and e-Golf, not to mention the lot of Porsche plug-in hybrids waiting in the wings to swoop on the company car takers.

29 April 2014

Considering the great advances made in making petrol and diesel engines more efficient, pure electric vehicles (even with the Government's £5,000 handout) will always be a niche market given the high cost, limited range and lack of recharging infrastructure ... The future seems to be a blend of both worlds, with petrol/diesel supplying the main power/charging and electric covering the in-town driving and added boost (i.e. hybrids) ...

29 April 2014

I see they have found another way to waste public money.

29 April 2014
kendwilcox47 wrote:

I see they have found another way to waste public money.

Exactly, in the middle of dramatic cutbacks across every government department, they decide to waste my money subsidising other peoples cars, what an absolute joke, we hear stories every day of cutbacks or the refusal of NICE to fund new drugs treatments, but in a whim they can suddenly find a spare £500m

30 April 2014
Citytiger wrote:
kendwilcox47 wrote:

I see they have found another way to waste public money.

Exactly, in the middle of dramatic cutbacks across every government department, they decide to waste my money subsidising other peoples cars, what an absolute joke, we hear stories every day of cutbacks or the refusal of NICE to fund new drugs treatments, but in a whim they can suddenly find a spare £500m

But of course, now, in the run up to the election, ALL government policy is just headline-grabbing: The sums go out of the window, this is just designed to portray the governments 'green credentials' and attract a few more votes.

29 April 2014

Good to see the goverment looking to the future for a change. Now the country needs someone like Musk of Tesla and more off-shore wind farms.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

29 April 2014

hopefully they will keep this going until battery tech steps up to allow faster charging and greater capacity so EV's can become mainstream. it makes so much sense to take air pollution out of major population centres. the WHO estimates 7million people a year die prematurely from air pollution. Other scientists say diesel exhaust is responsible for 7000 deaths a year in the uk, with the diesel particulates increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes in a similar manner to smoking. i wish they would also give electric car drivers other benefits such as free parking in council parking bays. As a Londoner, that would put an EV right at the top of my list. imagine, no congestion charge and free parking in central london!

29 April 2014

What a waste of taxpayers' money from a government that is looking increasingly out-of-touch.

29 April 2014

The problem with electric vehicles is that you cant just stop and fill up in 3-4 minutes. Until you can no one who does any miles will buy one. Hybrids maybe but not full ev. In addition I hate my electricity supplier already. i get bills id didnt expect. at least i know i have a full paid for tank of petrol/diesel in my car. imagine getting 3 months fuel on tick and then getting a monster bill?

30 April 2014

I too am against the waste of taxpayers money in this way, although its only about £10 per taxpayer, or about £3 a year. I would still rather see it paid off the national debt.

As for Electric cars, the real issue is that these grants are also available for plug ins, like i8, and Panamera hybrid. It really should be capped and only available for cars costing less that a certain amount, say £25k.

And of course the loss to the taxpayer is much worse after people have got an EV. No road tax, no fuel duty, next to no vat, very little CoCar tax. I am sure that adds up to many times this £500,000,000 headline

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