The UK is extending its Plug-in Car Grant scheme through at least February 2016. Through the grant, customers can get up to about $7,800 off the price of an electric vehicle. The UK government has set aside at least $311 million for the grant, which will be reviewed in November to decide how to proceed beyond February. So far, more than 50,000 cars have been sold under the program. "The UK is now the fastest growing market for electric vehicles in Europe," says Transport Minister, Andrew Jones MP. "We will continue to invest to help make this technology affordable to everyone and to secure the UK's position as a global leader." Read more at Green Car Congress, and in the press release below.

Boston is designating 40 parking spaces for Enterprise CarShare as part of the city's DriveBoston program. The carsharing service, which operates as an extension to the Enterprise's rental service, will have access to these public parking areas as part of a 18-month pilot program. "We're naturally excited to partner with the City of Boston on this new car sharing program, which not only enhances our fleet's accessibility in Boston, but also our ability to complement the 'T' and other options," says Brian Duffy, vice president and general manager of Enterprise in Boston. Read more from Enterprise CarShare.

A joint venture between General Motors, SAIC, and Wuling Motors is investing $470 million for a green car manufacturing facility. Construction for the plant began last week in China's Guangxi province. The plant will have the capacity to build 200,000 new energy vehicles each year. A scheduled completion date for the facility has not yet been announced. Read more from Reuters.
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PLUG-IN CAR GRANT EXTENDED TO ENCOURAGE MORE ELECTRIC MOTORING

• Government announces that current levels of the Plug-in Car Grant will continue until at least February 2016
• Longer term plan for the grant to be announced after November spending review
• Go Ultra Low reveals best-ever UK registrations for plug-in cars in 2015

Today, Government announced that the current Plug-in Car Grant scheme would continue to offer motorists up to £5,000 off the price of an electric car until at least February 2016 for all categories of vehicle, boosting further the rapidly-growing plug-in car market.

The Government's commitment to maintaining the established Plug-in Car Grant will see the contribution for ultra-low emission vehicles continue at current levels into 2016. Previously the Government had announced that grant levels would be reviewed once 50,000 vehicles had been sold, a milestone expected to be reached in November this year. As a result, all plug-in cars with CO2 emissions of 75g/km or less will remain eligible for a grant.

Given its ambition to make the UK a world leader in ultra low emission technology, the Government recently announced that a minimum of £200 million has been made available to continue the Plug-in Car Grant and this latest news will add extra incentive toprivate buyers and fleets who were looking to 'go electric' in 2015 and 2016. Further details about how the plug-in car grant will be structured beyond February are expected following the Government Spending Review in November.

Popular demand for ultra-low emission vehicles meant that the 50,000 threshold will be reached before the end of the year. Registrations of plug-in cars accelerated rapidly over the first six months of 2015, according to the Government-backed Go Ultra Low campaign, growing 256% against the same period last year and surpassing the 2014 full-year total with six months to spare.

Transport Minister, Andrew Jones MP said: "I'm pleased to announce today that the government is maintaining the current levels of grant, even as we move past the milestone of 50,000 vehicles.

"The UK is now the fastest growing market for electric vehicles in Europe. We will continue to invest to help make this technology affordable to everyone and to secure the UK's position as a global leader."

Hetal Shah, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: "Continuing the Plug-in Car Grant at current levels is positive news for everyone, as it encourages zero-emission motoring and secures more funding for a greater number of ULEV buyers. This announcement demonstrates the government's commitment to supporting the growth of the ULEV market. If we are to meet ambitious targets for ULEV uptake, continued investment is paramount."

There is now an unprecedented variety of ULEVs available to UK car buyers, from city run-arounds and family hatchbacks to 4x4s and sports cars, with driving costs from as little as 2p a mile, according to Go Ultra Low. With new zero emission technology constantly coming to market, such as fuel cell electric vehicles, UK motorists will continue to benefit from the wide-ranging options available.

Go Ultra Low exists to help motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of new ultra-low emission vehicles on the market. The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of seven leading vehicle manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen), Government and the SMMT. Further details are available at www.goultralow.com.

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