February 25, 2010 / 9:00 AM / 10 years ago

UK government to pay 25 percent of electric car price

A Tesla Roadster electric car is recharged during a demonstration in Rome October 28, 2009. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government is to give up to 5,000 pounds ($7,668) to anyone who buys an “ultra-low carbon” car from next year and will build recharging hubs, the Department of Transport said on Thursday.

The Plug-in Car Grant of 25 percent toward the purchase price, capped at 5,000 pounds, will be available across Britain for both private and business fleet buyers from January 2011, by which time a range of eligible vehicles should be on sale.

“By this time next year, cutting edge motorists will be on the roads with these next generation cars they’ve purchased because of our help,” Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said.

Only battery electric, plug-in hybrids with emissions of less than 75 g/km, or hydrogen fuel cell cars will be eligible for part of the 230 million pound total fund.

The electric vehicles must have a range of at least 70 miles, or 113 km, while hybrids must be able to run for at least 10 miles without using fuel, and all vehicles must be able to go faster than 60 miles per hour.

The government also plans to spend 30 million pounds on a network of electric vehicle hubs, called Plugged-In Places, in car parks, supermarkets and selected streets.

London, Milton Keynes and the north east of England will get the first recharging points — with a total of 11,000 to be set up in the next three years in those areas.

The program is a key part of British efforts to cut emissions of climate-warming carbon from transport, which accounts for about a fifth of the country’s total emissions.

Recharging electric vehicles overnight is also expected to help use up any excess electricity produced by the thousands of wind turbines that the government wants to be built over the next decade.

Reporting by Daniel Fineren

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