In early 2011, the UK started offering plug-in vehicle perks worth as much as 5,000 British pounds (about $7,700) per buyer, and set a 50,000-vehicle limit on such perks. Within two years, only about 3,200 people took the British government up on that offer. Since then, though, the number of plug-in vehicle models available in the UK has surged to about three-dozen. Armed with a broader choice, almost 12,000 plug-in vehicles were sold during the first five months of the year, about four times as many as the year before. The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid has emerged as the UK's best-selling plug-in, outpacing the Nissan Leaf almost three-to-one. In all, the British government has given out perks to about 36,000 plug-in vehicle buyers. In addition to cheaper "refueling costs," (the per-mile cost of recharging a vehicle is about one-sixth that of gasoline or diesel), British citizens driving plug-ins get access to some free parking and free recharging stations as well as an exemption from London's traffic-congestion fees.
Granted, plug-in vehicles still represent less than one out of every 40 cars sold in the UK, with some potential consumers scared off by range anxiety or the lack of recharging points for apartment dwellers. But other see the sense in going electric. For them, the good news is that even thought the extra financial perks could expire by the end of the year, the government might extend some of them beyond the 50,000-unit mark, the Guardian says, citing a spokesman with the UK's Office for Low Emission Vehicles.