Monday, July 25, 2011

Electric car sales appear to slow despite government grants

Electric Car
15 electric vehicle grants issued in last three months, fewer than half number issued in quarter before Sales of electric cars have all but stalled, despite government grants to encourage an electric revolution to cut emissions from burning petrol and diesel.

Figures from the Department for Transport show that only 215 electric vehicle grants were issued in the last three months, fewer than half the 465 issued in the previous quarter.

The figures were obtained by the research charity the RAC Foundation, which said the latest sales take the total number of battery-powered cars in the UK to just over 2,500, out of a fleet of more than 28m vehicles – a long way short of the 1.7m electric vehicles set as a target for the end of the decade by the government's Committee on Climate Change.

Andrew Fulbrook of market research firm IHS Automotive said that despite generous government grants of £5,000 for each electric car and van, the cost of new electric vehicles was still too high at £20,000-25,000, the choice too narrow, and the spread of charging points too slow to overcome "range anxiety" by drivers worried they will run out of battery power before they get home.

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