Currently reading: UK car firm moves overseas
The Electric Car Corporation shifts some production to Denmark due to lack of government support

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.

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ThwartedEfforts 14 December 2009

Re: UK car firm moves overseas

Widescreen wrote:
DO NOT blame the current gov, they have done more for tech. and green in this country than any other gov

What other government have we had within the last 12 years?

Widescreen 14 December 2009

Re: UK car firm moves overseas

OB; i have to correct you and this chap from ECC i do not understand. This government has put in place loans up to £1m, has placed in electric schemes right across the country (happening now), you can get massive grants, so the gov. has delivered.

it would be great for ECC to stay, but i suspect they get "inward investor" status in another EU country and thus can get access to more grants. Simply to blame a scheme (that is happening) seems strange when you consider that the are currently producing cars that people are buying.

I also guess they suffer lower profit getting the cars here to then convert and i guess they are going to the contient and thus is a mere excuse; that is how it seems to me; there are loads of green grants etc.

This also goes back to the point argued by CapsLock re. the olympics - and as Caps. said, one of the effects of the decision is exactly this, it was not just about Nissan; so DO NOT blame the current gov, they have done more for tech. and green in this country than any other gov, our grant/loan systems and region funding are equal and exceed the USA (which really is amazing).

Ask yourself this question, instead of going to another EU country, why is he not locating to a different region in this country; you would be new to area etc...i suspect ECC are using this as a smoke screen but either way Lord Coe's decision (as CapsLock said) will have massive implications and this is part of it.

so OB the current gov is not to blame, the money is their for ECC (without doubt) so you have to ask what the real reason is.

Paul123 14 December 2009

Re: UK car firm moves overseas

ordinary bloke wrote:
Yet another example of this Government's inability to deliver on their rhetoric. The PM has repeatedly said that he intends Britain to become a leader in new green technologies and to develop infrastructure and help companies with introducing new products. Despite all the talk nothing has been achieved and we end up with cases like this that costs Britain both jobs and expertise to our more forward thinking and acting competitors. Roll on the election so that we can get rid of this windbag set of ministers who are all talk and no fulfillment.

Can't argue with any of that.