• Apr 16th 2009 at 10:02AM
  • 11
The UK government has announced a £250 million ($372M USD) incentive program designed to get more plug-in and electric vehicles on British roads. The heart of the program is rebates of up to £5,000 (nearly $7,500) for purchases of full electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. This could be good news for companies like Mitsubishi, Nissan and General Motors. The Japanese automakers are planning to introduce battery electric cars over the next two years and General Motors plans to launch the Vauxhall Ampera (a rebadged Chevy Volt) in 2011. The program is aimed primarily at next generation full function electric vehicles like the Ampera and Mitsubishi iMiEV rather than the existing crop of low speed vehicles like the Indian-made G-Wiz.

In addition to subsidizing car purchases, the government wants to make life a little easier for EV drivers by putting in more public charging outlets. £20 million (about $30M) of the project is set aside for building out the country's infrastructure of charge points. Thanks to Brother_Will for the Tip!

[Source: BBC, Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      You still don't get it.

      Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd is a British company, and a subsidiary of a Japanese parent company. However, that Japanese parent company's only liability to the subsidiary legally is the amount paid up on the issued ordinary shares of the subsidiary. Everything else on the balance sheet of the subsidiary is owned by and the responsibility of the subsidiary company.

      GM (UK) Ltd and Vauxhall Motors Ltd are also British companies - the latter is expected to produce the Ampera at Ellesmere Port following discussions between GME and the British government which began at last year's London Motor Show. The British taxpayer will be funding programmes benefitting British companies and British productivity - it's no different in concept to any other grant or incentive.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I thought this article was referring to the grants the Government announced last year for electric vehicles being produced in the UK which was based on production numbers.

        This is a Government-funded customer rebate, rather like the tax credits offered in the US. The country of origin of the vehicle is irrelevant, in the same was that regular fuels are taxed at various levels - again, irrespective of the vehicle using the fuel.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And the programme is devised for existing British companies - whether they build or are developing electric vehicles or not - as well as foreign corporations such as Mitsubishi to attract them to develop British manufacturing subsidiary companies.

        It was Government grants in the Thatcher years which lead to Nissan's enormous investment in the north-east of England, setting up a British manufacturing subsidiary company, which began the hugely successful enterprise in Washington, Tyne & Wear.

        This scheme follows similar lines.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "There seems to be a contingent in the US that does like for US taxpayers to pay for the US auto industry... even though we are on the same road that decimated the british car industry in the 70s and 80s, and let the unions drive the companies to other countries, even if they have some infrastructure left on British soil."

      The British car industry isn't decimated. It builds as many cars today (1.6m annually) as it did when MG Rover was in existence ten years ago. Only the recession has diminished output for the time being.

      The UK taxpayer benefits from programmes such as these - a cleaner environment, less demand for fossil fuels, and further modernising the infrastructure. It makes for a more progressive society, instead of one full of selfishness forever arguing the toss as to who should pay for what and leaving huge swathes of the population suffering as a result.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I was not talking about MG rover 10 years ago. MG/Rover was the only mainstream british company operating at that time, after MG and most of British Leyland failed in the early 80s. THAT is when the british car industry was decimated, and got substantially went out of business or got sold off. It may not have been entirely shuttered, but it hasn't come back to what it was, and most of the nameplates are property of other companies in other countries.

        I was talking about the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, when British cars were in their full swing, post WWII.

        I have a close relative with a 1974 MG. We couldn't get a 94 MG. and now MG is chinese.

        I may not have a background in corporate law, or first hand knowledge on the ground in England. I will defer to you on those points if you do.

        But it is sheer denial if you think the british car industry survived the late 70s, 80s, and 90s intact, when most of it got sold off or shuttered, even if some cars are still built on british soil. 1.6 million units? what fraction of the western world/far-east automotive marketshare is that? What was the marketshare in the mid 60s for the British brands?

        Don't get me wrong. I like british cars, past and present. That is why I think it is so unfortunate what happened to the british industry, and I would prefer that others, including the US learn those lessons, and not repeat those unfortunate errors.

        It MATTERS, because the US car industry is headed very much down the same path now as the british industry did in the late 70s and 80s, and whatever is left, will be weaker than it has historically been, and could possibly end up being owned by foreign interests.

        Fiat is doing a deal with Chrysler right now, and Nissan is rumored to be interested in Dodge trucks to become Nissan Titans. That is just the start, as history shows us. GM is talking about shedding too much of it's portfolio, which it may not recover from, and some of those being recoverable nameplates being sold off, or shuttered completely.

        But more importantly, our government is getting more invasive, as the British government has, and most of western european nations have even moreso. That is another set of errors I don't want to see repeated.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How do they plan to power the grid for all of these electric cars? Nuclear? Oil-fired? Coal burning plants?

      Wind and sunlight can't fill the need. Not yet anyway and not for the near future.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The United Kingdom currently sits at 40% natural gas, 30% coal and 20% nuclear power. Building more nuclear power is the logical step, and a series of EPR-reactors would be the most beneficial.
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