Great news for motorists keen to explore greener options, such as the Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe, in the future. The Government has announced that it will give a further cash injection worth a huge £500 million between now and 2020 to help encourage more drivers to switch to electric cars and plug-in hybrids.
The Plug-In Grant, started in 2011 and due to end next year will now continue until 2017, or until 50,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold and there will be further investment in charging points too.
Currently drivers buying a qualifying electric or plug-in hybrid can qualify for a grant of up to £5000 off the total cost of their new car – but this scheme was due to end in 2015. With more work to be done in educating drivers on the facts behind electric vehicles as well as improving the infrastructure surrounding them, this new cash commitment from the government has come at a good time.
One of the most commonly raised concerns about electric vehicles is the availability of charging stations when away from home. Currently Vospers Marsh Mills is host to the only electric car charging point in Plymouth. As part of its new investment commitment, the Government will spend around £32million on providing a rapid charger, which can deliver charge in around 20 minutes, at every motorway service station before the end of 2014 and at least 500 in total before March 2015. The good news won’t end there. Local councils will also be able to bid for a portion of a further £35million fund, with the cash intended to help them encourage take-up of electric vehicles in their area and earn themselves the rather un-catchy mantel of ‘ultra-low carbon emission car city’.
Manufacturers have celebrated this news, particularly as many have invested heavily in developing better low emission vehicles. The popular Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe are demonstrating electric cars can deliver on performance as well as carrying a price tag that is within the reach of the environmentally friendly man (or woman!) on the street.
Don’t forget to take a look at the Vospers Electric Car section to find lots of useful information and guidance on owning an electric car.