The announcement from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) means that from January 2011, motorists will be entitled to a ‘Plug-In Car Grant’ of up to £5,000when buying an electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell car meeting their safety, reliability, performance and warranty standards set by the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) in consultation with industry.
To be eligible for the hand-out cars would need to meet modern safety standards and have a large enough range and top speed to make them popular.
Only battery electric, plug-in hybrids with emissions of less than 75 g/km, or hydrogen fuel cell cars will be eligible for part of the 230 million pound total fund.
The electric vehicles must have a range of at least 70 miles, or 113 km, while hybrids must be able to run for at least 10 miles without using fuel, and all vehicles must be able to go faster than 60 miles per hour. The government also plans to spend 30 million pounds on a network of electric vehicle hubs, called Plugged-In Places, in car parks, supermarkets and selected streets.
Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon said: “Cutting road transport CO2 emissions is a key element to tackling climate change. Less than 0.1 per cent of the UK’s 26 million cars are electric, so there is a huge untapped potential to reduce emissions.