United Kingdom
UK Unveils Initiative to Boost Low-Emission Mobility

The United Kingdom has announced a major programme aimed at boosting the use of electric and ultra-low emission cars. Nine vehicle models will be eligible for grants of up to £5,000, £20 million will be invested into installing local charging points.

Grants that will reduce the cost of eligible electric cars and ultra-low emissions vehicles by up to a maximum of £5,000 (€5,900) will be available to British motorists from 1 January 2011. Nine different car models will become eligible for eco-friendly car grants. The Mitsubishi iMiEV; Smart fortwo electric drive; Peugeot iON; Citroën CZero; Nissan Leaf; Tata Vista EV; Toyota Prius Plug-in; Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt. More models will follow next year.

The British government is also encouraging a new network of electric vehicle recharging points in streets, car parks, commercial retail and leisure facilities. The five successful bidding consortia for the £20 million (€23,6 million) set aside for this programme are based in the Midlands, Greater Manchester, East of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The scheme aims to provide over 4,000 charging points in these regions - at home, in on-street locations and at public, workplace and retail car parks. They will 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 for the United Kingdom.

"A few years ago, ultra-low emission cars with mass market appeal appeared just a pipe dream" sait UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond on the unveiling of the programme. "Now they are a reality and we can have all the convenience of the car without all the carbon that normally goes with it."

In all, the UK has made provision of more than £400 million (€472 million) to promote the uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies. This includes approximately £80 million (€94,4 million) supporting research and development activities; £20 million for the installation of infrastructure; and, subject to review, provision of around £300 million (€354 million) to support consumer incentives for the life of the current Parliament. A first review of the Plug-In Car Grant will take place in 2012.

A cross-Government team, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), is bringing together existing policy and funding streams to co-ordinate policy delivery. It incorporates policies, people and funding from Department for Transport, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

For more details, visit the website of the Department for Transport.

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