July 20, 2009

Electric Car Sales to be Subsidised

Drivers will be offered subsidies of up to £5,000 to help them to purchase electric or plug in hybrid cars under plans announced by the government.

It’s part of a plan to promote low carbon transport over the next five years.

The strategy includes plans to provide £20m for charging points and other necessary infrastructure. At present they are very limited.

Currently sales of hybrid vehicles has been held back by a number of factors: They commonly have a limited range of about 40 miles, take several hours to charge, and have only two seats.

But the government hopes to target drivers of a new generation of all electric or plug in petrol electric cars, which are expected to go on sale in two years time.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:  “When people see the electric car – the speed, the lack of noise – they are going to fall in love with it.”

Environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth said financial support for electric cars was a step in the right direction but said investment in public transport was also needed.

Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School said: “The big problem is that the next generation of electric cars will initially be very expensive to make. Without subsidies, nobody will buy them, so manufacturers won’t be able to increase production and get the price down.”

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