A British electric car company has moved some of its production abroad due to the lack of government incentives in the UK for private buyers becoming early adopters of electric car technology.
The Electric Car Corporation (ECC), which currently assembles its Citroen C1 ev'ie electric car at its plant at Bedfordshire, has set-up a production facility in Denmark to cater for the large demand for its car it's had from Europe. ECC has also hit out at the lack of assistance by the government to help the emerging market.
From April 2011, the government will offer a subsidy of up to £5000 for people buying electric or plug-in hybrid cars, but there's nothing at present to encourage private buyers. The only incentives are for company car drivers, who will pay no tax on their cars for five years as announced as part of last week's pre-budget report.
ECC's chief executive, David Martell said the delay of these private subsidies will lead to the UK falling behind Europe in the electric car sector, despite the government's willing to become a world leader in the technology.
"It is unfortunate that we cannot exploit the advanced technology that we have developed in the UK, especially as the government and Boris Johnson have stated they wish to fully support a renaissance of the British motor industry by promoting electric vehicles," he said.
"Our assembly plant in Bedfordshire has been fully occupied throughout the last few months and we would very much like to increase capacity and employment to meet the high demand. I have written to the government to outline how ECC can help put the UK firmly on the map, but unfortunately they have declined to offer any assistance to progress this opportunity.
"Consequently, I believe we will fall even further behind the rest of Europe and this has therefore been a factor in our decision to commence assembly in Denmark."
The ECC expects to sell more than 1000 ev'ies in Scandinavia in 2010 and has set up a facility in Denmark to supply its ev'ie to the Scandinavian and German markets. Subsides in these areas are ensuring a steady market for electric cars.
ECC's ev'ie is an all-electric four-seat city car, based on Citroen's C1 model. It has a range of 60-70 miles on one charge and can reach a top speed of 60mph.