Mandelson: no news on 'green' subsidies

* Keynote speech on low-carbon future * Subsidies available from 2011 * No announcement on plan's details...

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What Car? Staff
24 November 2009

Mandelson: no news on 'green' subsidies

A keynote speech by Lord Mandelson on the future of subsidies for low-carbon vehicles has failed to reveal how much money will be offer, when it will be available and to which cars it will apply.

No details, Lord Mandelson tells What Car?
The Government announced earlier this year that subsidies of between 2000 and 5000 will be available to buyers of ultra-low-carbon vehicles, such as electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

Other funds were to be set aside to support trials and development of electric vehicles, along with the setting up of an infrastructure of electric vehicle charging points.

However, talking to What Car?, Lord Mandelson could not say when car buyers and car manufacturers would know more about the specifics of the subsidies.

'We will work that out', said Lord Mandelson. 'We will give more information based on consumer needs. The market will grow and we will support the development of cars and batteries to stimulate growth of an infrastructure to support them.'

Lord Mandelson also firmly put the onus on the car industry to create demand for electric vehicles.

He said: 'We can't just build a market for low-carbon cars. It's the job of the people in the industry to do that.'

Hints at increased taxation for high CO2 cars
Lord Mandelson hinted that UK car buyers can expect tougher taxation on higher CO2-emitting vehicles in the future.

'I think we have to accept that, barring a crippling new plateau in oil prices, consumer choice alone isn't going to get us to a tipping point in decarbonising road transport fast enough,' he said.

'The carbon cost needs to start showing up in the price a lot more clearly. That's why we were the first country in the EU to tie vehicle taxation to CO2.'