2011: the year electric cars take off?

  • Cars eligible for grants announced
  • Three cars on sale next month
  • Charging infrastructure to grow
The Government has said 2011 could be the year the electric car takes off.

From January 1, car buyers will be entitled to a Plug-In Car Grant of up to £5000 when buying any qualifying car with CO2 emissions less than 75g/km.

The Government has revealed which electric cars will be eligible for the grant – three are available to buy from January 1, while the remaining six will be on sale over the next 12 months or so.

The cars are:
Mitsubishi i-Miev      January 2011
Peugeot Ion      January 2011
Smart Fortwo      January 2011
Citroen C Zero       Early 2011
Nissan Leaf      March 2011
Tata Vista      March 2011
Chevrolet Volt       Early 2012
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid       Early 2012
Vauxhall Ampera       Early 2012

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: 'Government action to support affordable vehicles means we are on the threshold of an exciting green revolution. 2011 could be remembered as the year the electric car took off.'

The Government will continue to receive applications from car makers for more cars to be eligible for the grant, and another round of eligible vehicles will be announced next year.

More charging points on the way
Meanwhile, the Government has also revealed the five areas that will receive extra funding to develop and electric car charging infrastructure.

The Midlands, Greater Manchester, East of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will share £20m and will install 4000 more charging points in the coming years.

These new zones join London, Milton Keynes and North East England that will install over 11,000 charging posts across the three regions by 2013.

'The transition to ultra-low-carbon vehicles is a great opportunity for the UK motor industry,' said Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers.

'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.'

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