The UK’s ultra-low carbon car market received a boost today with the announcement by government of the first set of vehicles eligible for the new ‘Plug-In Car Grant’. Transport secretary Philip Hammond and business minister Mark Prisk set out details for the incentive and announced the UK locations that will receive funding in the second round of ‘Plugged-In Places’, boosting the UK’s electric vehicle charging network.
From 1 January 2011, motorists will be entitled to a Plug-In Car Grant of up to £5,000 when buying any qualifying low carbon car with CO2 emissions less than 75g/km. The list of eligible vehicles featured nine cars, three of which are available to buy now, with the remaining six coming to market.
The announcement also detailed the five successful areas that bid for Plugged-In Places funding. The Midlands, Greater Manchester, East of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will share £20m to further the development of the ultra-low carbon infrastructure, installing 4,000 more charging points in the coming years. These new zones join round one winners London, Milton Keynes and North East England that will install over 11,000 charging posts across the three regions by 2013.
“The transition to ultra-low carbon vehicles is a great opportunity for the UK motor industry. The Plug-In Car Grant and infrastructure investment through the Plugged-In Places scheme is helping to create a co-ordinated and comprehensive approach to creating vital consumer demand,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “The motor industry is making great progress in delivering practical, low carbon vehicles and we will see further progress of new and conventional technologies in the years ahead. Today's announcements confirm the UK as a leading player in making low carbon an economic and environmental winner.”
Government will continue to receive applications from vehicle manufacturers for more cars to be eligible for the Plug-In Car Grant and another round of eligible vehicles will be announced next year.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said; "Government action to support affordable vehicles and more local charging points means we are on the threshold of an exciting green revolution. 2011 could be remembered as the year the electric car took off.”
Business Minister Mark Prisk said; “Today’s news that motorists will be able to choose from at least nine cars under the consumer incentive scheme and that we are expanding the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles will further reinforce the message that the UK is Europe’s leading producer of ultra-low carbon vehicles.
“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. This builds on Nissan's decision to produce the Leaf in Sunderland and the work the Automotive Council is doing to improve the way government works with industry."