Ultra-low carbon car grant backed by RAC Foundation
Green revolution gears up
The RAC Foundation has welcomed the news that at least nine cars will soon be available to those buyers taking advantage of the government’s ultra-low carbon car grant scheme which begins in January 2011.
The first nine cars to become eligible for eco-friendly car grants are: Mitsubishi iMiEV; Mercedes-Benz smart fortwo ED; Peugeot iON; Citroen CZero; Nissan Leaf; Tata Vista EV; Toyota Prius Plug-in; Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt.
The grant will be available to motorists across the UK from 1 January, reducing the cost of eligible cars by a quarter, up to a maximum of £5,000.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, on the electric car grant:
“We support the government grant. While this makes ultra-green cars cheaper, it doesn’t make them cheap. The £43 million being made available until early 2012 means at least 8,600 will benefit from the subsidy, though this has to be put into the context of the 28 million cars in the UK and annual new car sales of around two million. Clearly we are still a long way from an affordable mass market for these vehicles, but this is a very welcome step in the right direction.”
The Government is also encouraging a new network of electric vehicle recharging points in streets, car parks and commercial retail and leisure facilities as driving electric cars becomes a part of everyday life for pioneering British drivers. The successful bidding consortia in this second phase are based in: the Midlands; Greater Manchester; East of England; Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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."
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
020 7747 3486 / 07711 776448
Notes to Editors from the DfT press release
1. 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.
2. 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. We will continue to monitor the most effective way to deliver this investment. The first review of the Plug-In Car Grant will take place in 2012.
The Plug-In Car Grant
3. The following cars have been confirmed as eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant, which consumers will be able to benefit from directly at the point of purchase from 1 January 2011. Eligible models are as follows:
Make and Model 1st 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 CZero Early 2011
Vauxhall Ampera Early 2012
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Early 2012
Chevrolet Volt Early 2012
4. More vehicles are expected to be deemed eligible as the scheme continues.
5. The level of the 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.
6. 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. Details of the successful bids are as follows:
Bid Location Total project cost Total grant award Expected number of charge points
East of England
(lead project partner EValu8 Transport Innovations Ltd)
Cambridge, Peterborough, Norwich, Ipswich, Essex Thames Gateway, Bedford and Luton, Hertfordshire and Watford, London Stansted airport £6,359,992 £2,886,496 Total: 1358
(lead project partner: Cenex)
Birmingham, Coventry, Nottingham and Worcester £6,353,970 £2,878,295 Total: 1713
(lead project partner:
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council)
Greater Manchester £9,004,167 £3,613,339 Total: 305
305 workplace and public
(lead project partner NI Executive; Department for Regional Development & Department for the Environment) All of Northern Ireland £2,366,700 £849,350 Total: 846
(lead project partner: Transport Scotland)
Edinburgh-Glasgow Central Belt £3,102,500 £1,225,000 Total: 375
7. 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.
8. 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.