Nine electric cars get subsidies

Nissan Leaf being chargedThere are now eight areas where consortiums have won funds to build plug-in points

Details have been released of the first nine electric cars that will be eligible for grants of up to £5,000 in a government subsidy scheme.

Under the £43m initiative that starts on 1 January, buyers will get a 25% discount up to the maximum £5,000.

However, only three of the nine cars will be immediately ready for delivery, with others following as late as 2012.

The government also said that a further five areas are to install charging points after bidding for funds.

The additional locations getting a share of £20m to build plug-in points are the Midlands, Greater Manchester, the East of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

They follow after London, Milton Keynes and the north east of England.

Of the nine electric cars so far confirmed as qualifying for the subsidy scheme, the three that will be available for delivery in January are the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Smart fortwo electric drive and the Peugeot iOn.

Cars and availability datesMitsubishi i-MiEV: Jan 2011Smart fortwo electric drive: Jan 2011Peugeot iOn: Jan 2011Nissan Leaf: March 2011Tata Vista: March 2011Citroen CZero: Early 2011Vauxhall Ampera: Early 2012Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid: Early 2012Chevrolet Volt: Early 2012

The Mitsubishi is being adverstised for sale from £24,000, after the £5,000 government grant. The Smart and the Peugeot electric cars will initially only be available through four-year leases.

The Nissan Leaf and Tata Vista will then follow in March, while the Citroen CZero is currently only confirmed for “early 2011”.

The Vauxhall Ampera, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, and Chevrolet Volt are due to see their first UK deliveries in early 2012.

Where the eligable cars are leased by drivers instead of being bought, the up to £5,000 subsidy will mean a deduction on their monthly leasing fees.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “A few years ago, ultra-low emission cars with mass market appeal appeared just a pipe dream.

“Now they are a reality and we can have all the convenience of the car without the carbon that normally goes with it.”

“Today’s announcement further confirms the UK as a global front runner in the market for ultra-low emission cars, and open for business for hi-tech green manufacturing”

Mark Prisk Business Minister

The £43m available for the electric car subsidy scheme is for the period from 1 January 2010 to the end of March 2010. However, the government has pledged to extend this, “subject to review”, for the life of the current Parliament.

The initiative was unveiled by the former Labour administration, with the coalition government announcing in July that its funding would be ring-fended from any spending cuts.

The successful consortiums who have successfully bid to build electric car charging points include public sector bodies and private companies.

In Greater Manchester, the lead partner for the instillation of plug-in points is Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.

For the east of England region it is Evalu8 Transport Innovations, a company set up by the University of Hertfordshire.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said: “Today’s announcement further confirms the UK as a global front runner in the market for ultra-low emission cars, and open for business for hi-tech green manufacturing.”

The Nissan Leaf

Taking Nissan’s new Leaf for a test drive

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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