Green Motoring

Green Car Subsidies Remain Unclaimed

posted on Feb 18 2014 by Jade Hensby

Green Car Subsidies Remain Unclaimed

A drive backed by the Government to boost the sales of electric cars in the UK is failing, as ministers admitted only half of the available subsidies for the plug-in vehicles are likely to be claimed by motorists.

Currently available is the £5,000 grant for people buying the ultra-low emission vehicles, under a scheme that was brought in by Phillip Hammond, the former Transport Secretary in 2011. Despite the £400 million being set aside when the scheme opened three years ago, the government now accepts it is only likely to hand out £230 million by the time the offer expires in 2015, which will leave the £170 million in unclaimed subsidies.

Recent figures published by the Department for Transport showed that just 6,709 claims that had been made by the end of December at a maximum cost of £33.5 million.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC foundation, said that “Battery powered cars might well be the future, but these figures demonstrate a continuing consumer suspicion of their abilities and economics. A big vote of confidence would be more interest from fleet buyers and businesses...the good news for drivers thinking of moving to the green models is that there is plenty of grant money left in the pot for them and the underlying price of these vehicles is gradually failing”.

Nick Clegg recently announced that the government would invest more than £9 million in new charging points for electric cars in an attempt to boost sales of the vehicle which are seen as key to meeting future emission targets.