The UK government has unveiled the nine electric cars that will be eligible for the Plug-In Car Grant, worth up to £5,000.
At the same time, five more regions have been announced as successful in bidding for a share of the £20m electric charging infrastructure fund.
From 1 January 2011, motorists will be entitled to the Plug-In Car Grant of up to £5,000 when buying any qualifying low carbon car with CO2 emissions less than 75 g/km. The list of nine eligible vehicles below features three which are available to buy now, with the remaining six coming to market.
| Make and Model|| First UK Deliveries|
| Mitsubishi i-MiEV||January 2011|
| smart fortwo electric drive||January 2011|
| Peugeot iOn||January 2011|
| Nissan Leaf||March 2011|
| Tata Vista||March 2011|
| Citroen C-Zero||Early 2011|
| Vauxhall Ampera||Early 2012|
| Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid||Early 2012|
| Chevrolet Volt||Early 2012|
More vehicles will follow next year.
The 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.
The government is also encouraging a new network of electric vehicle recharging points in streets, car parks and commercial retail and leisure facilities. The announcement 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.
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 all the carbon that normally goes with it.
“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.
“The British public has in the past shown it’s ready to embrace new technology and take practical steps to adopt a lifestyle kinder to the environment, so we could really be at the start of something big.”
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.”
SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt said “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. 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.”
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.
As announced at the Spending Review, the government has made provision of over £400m to promote the uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies. This includes approximately £80m supporting research and development activities; £20m for the installation of infrastructure; and, subject to review, provision of around £300m to support consumer incentives for the life of the Parliament. The government will continue to monitor the most effective way to deliver this investment.
The level of the UK Plug-In Car Grant has been agreed until 31 March 2012. The level will be reviewed in January 2012; taking into consideration a number of key factors, such as the costs of vehicles and the development of the early market. The level will then be set for subsequent years. £43m has been made available up to the end of March 2012.
Consortia based in the Midlands; Greater Manchester; East of England; Scotland and Northern Ireland have all bid successfully for the second round of Plugged-In Places funding. These schemes will provide over 4,000 charging points across the life of the scheme; at home, in on-street locations and at public, workplace and retail car parks. They present a mix of innovative technologies, operating models, incentives and marketing strategies that will inform the future roll out of a national EV re-charging infrastructure.
Funding to March 2013 for the three existing Plugged-In Places projects, based in London, Milton Keynes and the North East, will also be drawn from the £20m fund.
Two projects announced last month under Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund (CE Electric UK in the North East and UK Power Networks in London) will investigate, amongst other things, the importance of smart grids to the roll out of electric drive vehicles.
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is a cross-government team, bringing together existing policy and funding streams to drive and streamline policy delivery. It incorporates policies, people and funding from DfT, BIS and DECC.