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UK Charging Ahead With Rebate Incentives and Expanded Infrastructure For Electric Vehicles

An expanded plug-in car van grant has been announced for the United Kingdom by Transport Secretary Justine Greening and Business Minister Mark Prisk in a joint statement.

Azure Dynamics Transit Connect Electric Van now eligible new United Kingdom plug-in car van grant. Photo courtesy of autocarinterior.com.

Van buyers will be able to receive 20 percent – up to £8,000 – off the cost of the first wave of eligible plug-in van models.

The first seven vans to be made eligible for the grants are:

  • Azure Dynamics – Transit Connect Electric
  • Daimler Mercedes-Benz – Vito E-Cell
  • Faam – ECOMILE
  • Faam – JOLLY 2000
  • Mia-electric – Mia U
  • Smith Electric – Smith Edison variants  SE2 and SE3
  • Renault – Kangoo ZE variants Kangoo VAN ZE, Kangoo Van Maxi ZE, and Kangoo Van Maxi Crew ZE

Encouraging a switch to electric vehicles, especially in the commercial sector, Prisk said, “Business that run electric vans can benefit by reducing refueling costs; becoming exempt from the van benefit charge; attracting capital allowance concessions; and also receiving a 100 percent discount for the congestion charge in London.”

To be eligible for the grants, the vans will have to meet performance criteria to ensure safety, range, and emissions standards. Consumers, both business and private will receive the discount at the point of purchase, according to the government.

The van grant is an extension of the current plug-in car grant, which offers 25 percent – up to £5,000 – to motorists buying a new plug-in car. Ministers have reconfirmed that there is funding secured for this grant until 2015.

Greening announced separately that the Mia Electric (Mia and Mia L models) are now also eligible for the plug-in car grant, which is a consumer grant of up to £5,000.

“The purpose of the consumer grant is to enable the purchase of ultra-low carbon vehicles, which could otherwise have been unaffordable. The consumer will also benefit from lower running costs over the lifetime of the vehicle,” said Transport Minister Norman Baker in a statement.

The UK is also working on its charging point infrastructure to make electric vehicles a more viable option for the public. Last year, London Mayor Boris Johnson launched Source London, the capital’s largest network of charge points.

The network, which launched with 150 charge points, is expected to provide a network of 1,300 publically accessible charging points by 2013.

Existing charging points installed before the launch of Source London are now being retrofitted to become part of the network. Use of Source London costs a £100 annual membership fee for limitless recharging.

By the 2013 date, the mayor says that, “London will have more charging points than petrol stations, giving drivers the confidence to buy into the new technology and provide a boost to the growing electric vehicle market.”


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