Press release

Electric car revolution revs up

Grants for trailblazing cars - part of the electric and ultra-low emission car revolution in the UK.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The government drove the UK firmly into the fast lane of the electric and ultra-low emission car revolution today (14 December 2010) as ministers unveiled 9 trailblazing models that will be eligible for generous grants of up to £5,000.

Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, and Business Minister, Mark Prisk, announced the milestone which could make 2011 the year of the electric car for the UK - and revealed five more regions that will be installing local charging points having successfully bid for a share of a £20 million fund.

From January, the motoring map of the country will start to be redrawn as government and car industry work in partnership to give drivers a wide choice of clean, green transport.

The first 9 cars to become eligible for eco-friendly car grants are:

  • Mitsubishi iMiEV
  • smart fortwo electric drive
  • Peugeot iON
  • Citroen CZero
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Tata Vista EV
  • Toyota Prius Plug-in
  • Vauxhall Ampera
  • Chevrolet Volt

More will follow next year.

The grant will be available to motorists across the UK from 1 January 2011, reducing the cost of eligible cars by a quarter, up to a maximum of £5,000.

The government is also encouraging a new network of electric vehicle recharging points in streets, car parks and commercial retail and leisure facilities as driving electric cars becomes a part of everyday life for pioneering British drivers. The successful bidding consortia in this second phase are based in: the Midlands; Greater Manchester; East of England; Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said:

A few years ago, ultra-low emission cars with mass market appeal appeared just a pipe dream. Now they are a reality and we can have all the convenience of the car without all the carbon that normally goes with it.

Government action to support affordable vehicles and more local charging points means we are on the threshold of an exciting green revolution - 2011 could be remembered as the year the electric car took off.

The British public has in the past shown it’s ready to embrace new technology and take practical steps to adopt a lifestyle kinder to the environment, so we could really be at the start of something big.

Business Minister, Mark Prisk, said:

Today’s (14 December 2010) news that motorists will be able to choose from at least nine cars under the consumer incentive scheme and that we are expanding the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles will further reinforce the message that the UK is Europe’s leading producer of ultra low carbon vehicles.

Today’s announcement further confirms the UK as a global front runner in the market for ultra-low emission cars and open for business for hi-tech green manufacturing. This builds on Nissan’s decision to produce the Leaf in Sunderland and the work the Automotive Council is doing to improve the way government works with industry.

Notes to editors

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is a cross-government team, bringing together existing policy and funding streams to drive and streamline policy delivery. It incorporates policies, people and funding from DfT, BIS and DECC.

As announced at the spending review, the government has made provision of over £400 million to promote the uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies. This includes approximately £80 million supporting research and development activities; £20 million for the installation of infrastructure; and, subject to review, provision of around £300 million to support consumer incentives for the life of the Parliament. We will continue to monitor the most effective way to deliver this investment. The first review of the Plug-In Car Grant will take place in 2012.

The Plug-In Car Grant

The following cars have been confirmed as eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant, which consumers will be able to benefit from directly at the point of purchase from 1 January 2011. Eligible models are in the attached set of tables.

View the table that accompanies this release.

More vehicles are expected to be deemed eligible as the scheme continues.

The level of the Plug-In-Car Grant has been agreed until 31 March 2012. The level will be reviewed in January 2012; taking into consideration a number of key factors, such as the costs of vehicles and the development of the early market. The level will then be set for subsequent years. £43 million has been made available up to the end of March 2012.

Plugged-In Places

Consortia based in the Midlands; Greater Manchester; east of England; Scotland and Northern Ireland have all bid successfully for the second round of Plugged-In Places funding. These schemes will provide over 4,000 charging points across the life of the scheme; at home, in on-street locations and at public, workplace and retail car parks. They present a mix of innovative technologies, operating models, incentives and marketing strategies that will inform the future roll out of a national electric vehicle (EV) re-charging infrastructure. Details of the successful bids are in the attached set of tables.

View the table that accompanies this release.

Funding to March 2013 for the 3 existing Plugged-In Places projects, based in London, Milton Keynes and the north east, will also be drawn from the £20 million fund.

Two projects announced last month under Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund (CE Electric UK in the north east and UK Power Networks in London) will investigate, amongst other things, the importance of smart grids to the roll out of electric drive vehicles.

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Published 14 December 2010