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UK Electric Car Buyers Get up to Quarter of Purchase Price Returned

Since January 1, the United Kingdom is offering generous grants to buyers of electric vehicles. They can see the price of their electric vehicle reduced by a quarter, up to 5000 pounds, or about $7500. It’s similar to the federal tax credits offered in the U.S.

The first nine cars to become eligible for eco-friendly car grants are: Mitsubishi iMiEV; smart fortwo electric drive; Peugeot iON; Citroen CZero; Nissan Leaf; Tata Vista EV; Toyota Prius Plug-in; Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt.

The UK government has made provision of more than £400 million (about $625 million) to promote the uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies. This includes approximately £80 million ($125 million) supporting research and development activities; £20 million ($31 million) for the installation of infrastructure; and, subject to review, provision of around £300 million (about $450 million) to support consumer incentives. The first review of the Plug-In Car Grant will take place in 2012.

The United States offers a tax credit. According to the Department of Energy legalese: “The minimum amount of the credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles is $2,500 and the credit tops out at $7,500, depending on the battery capacity. To qualify, vehicles must be newly purchased, have four or more wheels, have a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 14,000 lbs, and draw propulsion using a battery with at least four kilowatt hours that can be recharged from an external source of electricity. The full amount of the credit will be reduced with respect to a manufacturer's vehicles after the manufacturer has sold at least 200,000 vehicles. The credit will then phase out over a year.”

UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is a main proponent of the new plan. He could use a success after the recent pre-Christmas debacle at Heathrow Airport, where hundreds of flights were cancelled because of storms and low quantities of de-icing fluid for jets.

Related stories:
Mitsubishi Releases MiEV for North America
Alyssa Milano orders Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf to avoid gas usage
GM delivers the first 2011 Chevy Volt

I wonder what happened to Mitsubishi MiEV by now.