Electric shock for Government

* One fifth of drivers would buy an electric car * 5000 grants for buyers in 2011 * Production cars unlikely to be ready in time...

Electric shock for Government

Almost seven million car buyers in the UK would consider buying an electric car in the next five years, according to a survey by the RAC Foundation. That's one in five British car buyers.

Those same motorists will welcome the 5000 grant the Government plans to introduce for anyone buying an electric car from 2011.

However, potential electric car buyers may be disappointed. The director of the RAC Foundation, Professor Stephen Glaister, said: 'What the Government is in danger of doing is putting the cart before the horse. It is actively promoting the purchase of electric vehicles long before there is any chance of manufacturers making them widely available.'

The RAC Foundation points to the Governments own prediction that electric vehicles wont be available on the mass market until 2017. 'Ministers' thinking on green technology is all over the place,' said Glaister. 'They talk of incentives for prospective buyers of electric cars from 2011. Yet at that stage there will be almost nothing in the showroom for people to purchase.'