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Government fleets to introduce plug-in cars and vans

government ev fleet policyAfter many years, the government’s car fleets are being provided with funding to introduce plug-in cars and vans.

The £5 million ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) readiness project, announced by Baroness Kramer, is claimed to be just the first step in plans to make electric cars and other plug-in vehicles commonplace in government fleets. In the view of Green Car Guide, this is very welcome, but also long overdue.

It will allow every central government fleet to review its arrangements and consider how greener vehicles can be used. Over 150 plug-in vehicles will be added to government fleets in the first wave of the scheme.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said: “I am delighted the Government Car Service is leading the move to electric vehicles and I will be one of the first in line to use one. This is the right thing to do, with much lower running costs and close to zero emissions, these vehicles will save the taxpayer money and be much greener. We are also investing significantly in ultra-low emission vehicles which will help ensure they play an important role in the UK economy as well as the environment.”

Baroness Kramer said: “Government must lead by example. Today’s investment will see government switching a significant number of plug-in cars and vans into our fleets and leading the electric charge.”

In both phases, charge-points will also be installed to provide infrastructure support for the new vehicles. Cars and vans will be recommended on a like-for-like basis and the reviews will consider the whole life cost of the vehicles to ensure that each replacement makes economic sense.

The £5 million scheme for getting ULEVs into government fleets is in addition to the support for the Go Ultra Low campaign being delivered in partnership with vehicle manufacturers and £500 million announced by the Deputy Prime Minister in April 2014.

Mitsubishi is delighted by the news, The Outlander PHEV is the only 4×4 SUV to qualify for the Plug-in Car Grant. It is also the only plug-in hybrid on the market to be priced at the same level as the diesel equivalent, once the Plug-in Car Grant has been taken into account. This makes the Outlander PHEV a viable alternative to a conventionally powered vehicle. Prices range from £28,249 to £34,999 (post grant).

Toby Marshall, Sales and Marketing Director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said: “This is a welcome announcement from the Government and great news for a true plug-in hybrid. The Outlander PHEV is the first SUV plug-in hybrid in the UK market that boasts 4WD capability with an EV range of 32.5 miles and emissions as low as 44 g/km. It’s quite simply a game-changer.

“The vehicle is extraordinary and very different to other hybrids. We are delighted that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV not only meets the high levels of criteria required to qualify for the Plug-in Car Grant but also benefits from £0 Vehicle Excise Duty and is Congestion Charge free. If you are a company car driver the BIK is just 5%, which is a virtual pay rise of thousands of pounds per year. It’s an exciting combination of innovation, style and technology.’’

Read our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review

Watch our Electric Car Guide video

Watch our ‘Which car is most efficient for you?’ video