Today the Government is having its first cabinet meeting in Scotland since the 1920s.
One of the announcements – to be made at Knockhill circuit in the presence of the Mini E – will be plans for subsidies of between £2000 and £5000 for anybody who purchases either a pure electric car or a plug-in Hybrid.
Although there’s no more news at the moment, these payments are set to kick in by 2011 and are clearly timed to coincide with the arrival of the Vauxhall Ampera (a mildly re-styled Chevrolet Volt) and the planned pure-electric Renault vehicles.
While the Ampera will probably be built at Ellesmere Port, Nissan in Sunderland could make at least one of the Renault models.
The government says it will also allocate £20m to build a series of charging points in various cities around the UK, which will allow 200 ‘real world’ testers to run electric cars in day-to-day conditions.
Part of the reason for the government’s electric enthusiasm is probably the progress being made by London government to embrace electric vehicles.
Energy company EDF is going to build a network of pay-per-charge charging points in the capital (up to 20,000 of them according to Mayor Boris Johnson).
These charging points will, initially, be used by Renault’s three-model electric car range, which will feature heavily at the 2012 London Olympics.
Late 2011 should also see the first few prototypes of the Autocar-inspired New Routemaster bus, which is effectively a plug-in hybrid like the Ampera.
Although Labour probably won’t be in office to see this policy through, I would guess that the Conservatives would also endorse the push for electric vehicles.
I wonder how long it will be before we see zero-emission zones in the centre of UK cities?