Over the next five years, the UK will be offering subsidies of £2000 - £5000 ($3,000 - $7,500) towards buying their first electric or plug-in hybrid electric cars. However, they don't expect these cars (the Volt, for instance) to hit the UK until 2011.
The funding is part of the £250 million program to 'deliver a green motoring transformation' and cut carbon emissions. Not all electric and plug-in hybrids would qualify, however. The Dept of Transportation notes the vehicles must meet modern safety standards and have a range and top speed sufficient to give mass market appeal.
"Cutting road transport CO2 emissions is a key element to tackling climate change," said Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon. "Less than 0.1% of the UK's 26 million cars are electric, so there is a huge untapped potential to reduce emissions.
"The scale of incentives we're announcing today will mean that an electric car is a real option for motorists as well as helping to make the UK a world leader in low carbon transport."
£20 million is also being set aside to provide for charging points and related infrastructure needed to develop a network of 'electric car cities' throughout the UK.
This money is in addition to the £400 million set to support development and uptake of ultra low emission vehicles.
- £23 million for the TSB Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform - phase 1
- £100 million for the TSB Low Carbon Vehicle Integrated Delivery Programme
- £20 million for the DfT Low Carbon Vehicle Public Procurement Programme
- £250 million for the DfT EV consumer incentive package