Cash for electric cars: the details

  • Details of Government scheme
  • Up to £5000 off each car
  • Vehicles must meet strict criteria
The Vauxhall Ampera
The Vauxhall Ampera
The first details of 2011’s £5000 electric car grant have been released by the Government.

Subject to approval from the European Commission, the grant will be available from January 2011, and will fund 25% of the purchase price of a new electric car – up to a maximum of £5000.

The grant will be available for fully electric cars, such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the 2011 Nissan Leaf, plug-in electric hybrids such as the Vauxhall Ampera and hydrogen fuel-cell cars.

Cars will have to meet safety and performance criteria
Anyone wanting to claim the grant, will have to buy a car that meets the following criteria:
• It must be a car – not quad bike-based vehicles such as the G-Wiz.
• Emit a maximum of 75g/km of CO2 if it's a plug-in hybrid
• Have a minimum range of 70 miles as an electric-only vehicle
• Have a minimum battery-powered range of 10 miles if a plug-in hybrid
• Have a three-year or 75,000-mile warranty
• Have a three-year warranty on the battery or a five-year warranty if requested by the customer (presumably at extra cost, although this has not been clarified)
• It must retain ‘a reasonable degree of performance after a three-year period of normal use’. Further definition of this is not given.

As with the scrappage scheme, the discount will be applied at the point of sale, so car buyers won’t have to pay the full amount first and then claim the money back. There is no limit to the number of cars you can buy to receive the cash, and the scheme is open to both private individuals and companies.

A total of £230 million is being put aside by the Government, which is enough for at least 46,000 cars. The scheme will run to March 31, 2014 at the latest and be reviewed after 12 months.



Electric cars at glance


Every manufacturer is looking at electric cars, hybrids and fuel cells, either through in-house development or by collaborating with other companies. Here are some of the cars already here – or in advanced stages of development.

Electric cars already here
Citroen C1 'evie
Fiat Doblo Electrique
G-Wiz (would not qualify for grant)
Mega City (would not qualify for grant)
Mini E – in public trails, no confirmation of production car
Tesla Roadster

Electric cars on the way
Citroen C-Zero – October 2010
Mitsubishi iMiEV – October 2010
Peugeot iOn – October 2010
Toyota Prius – trials underway, sales in 2011
Nissan Leaf – March 2011
Renault Twizy – late 2011
BMW Active – 2011
Volvo C30 – two year trial starts in 2011
Audi e-tron – 2012
Renault Zoe – 2012
Smart ED – 2012 (with trials starting in 2011)
Volvo V70 plug-in – 2012
Tesla S – by 2013

Plug-in Hybrids on the way
Renault Fluence – 2011
Vauxhall Ampera – 2011



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