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The Government has admitted that electric car sales in the UK are likely to fall short of projections by 2015, as new figures reveal that just 6,709 claims for its Plug-in Car Grant have been made since the scheme launched in January 2011 until the end of last year.

With a budget of £400 million, for the consumer grants worth up to £5,000 each, it is now expected that the Government will underspend by around half that amount by the time the scheme ends in 2015.

While it has already been confirmed that the UK government will continue to financially support the sales of electric cars between 2015 and 2020 with a further scheme of subsidies planned, the news will disappoint some.

According to The Telegraph, in answer to a question over Government over-budgeting for electric car sales, roads minister, Robert Goodwill said: “Sales of ultra low emission vehicles have been increasing year on year, but at a slower rate than originally anticipated.

“We are currently projecting to spend circa.£230 million over the period. Grant uptake in 2013 was 335 per cent higher than in 2011, grants in January 2014 were at a record level and 679 per cent higher than the equivalent month in 2013.”

That will leave a budget of £170 million unspent, enough to finance the sales of at least 34,000 cars. At £230 million, that means the Government expects sales of ultra-low emission vehicles to reach up to around 46,000 units by the end of the financial year 2014/2015, short of a full budget spend of at least 80,000 cars.

A similar grant system for buyers of plug-in vans launched in February 2012, has seen a disappointing 404 claims made by buyers of such vehicles, up to December 31, 3013.

The news breaks just weeks after the Government launched a new ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign designed to promote the sale of cars with emissions of 75g/km CO2 or less. With a high profile campaign now underway, it is expected that the rate of uptake of the grants will accelerate this year, having already made impressive increases in January alone.

Launching the new campaign last month, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg also announced a further investment of £9.3 million in charging infrastructure.

Source: http://www.thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/blog/index.php/2014/02/17/uk-government-expects-170m-underspend-on-electric-cars/
 

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simple double the grant to 10k :)

I do wonder if the car makers are just adding 5k to soak up the grant, maybe the answer is to put 5k to the manufacturer and then 5k back to the buyer after purchase
If you look at the cost of the Nissan LEAF before the £5k Grant was launched it was £5,000 cheaper....... make of that what you will!
 

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No.
The government should ask the manufacturers to justify their asking price and if the government are not satisfied that the price is fair then not let the vehicle qualify for the grant.
 

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I took a look at the E-UP on Sunday and it is a very pleasant little car and they are doing what Nissan did ie. here's the car,what colour would you like. But the Leaf has moved on, it is 3 years and 100,000 sales and there is not a comparable sister car at half the price in the same showroom.
In hindsight someone should have done a survey asking "how much less would expect to pay for the inconvenience of the reduced range of an ev over a similar spec. petrol car?"
 

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simple double the grant to 10k :)

I do wonder if the car makers are just adding 5k to soak up the grant, maybe the answer is to put 5k to the manufacturer and then 5k back to the buyer after purchase
In Norway the Nissan Leaf is one of the largest selling cars. But I also agree with John could the grant be causing more damage to the EV car sales by some clever accounting from the manufacturers. If there was no grant could it force the cost down so they increase sales. Hard to prove but thats what I would do. The grant system for the chargers we make sure it is squeezed into a certain budget so we can offer this product for free to increase the interest in EV's.
 

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I fear that the EV revolution is stalling. The situations not being helped by the new entrants being sold in low volumes and at premium prices. Had there been some competition for Nissan the prices might have been driven down - but the Renault (with only a battery lease option) has failed to do that.
In my view the only way to win over drivers is 'cheap, cheap'! Drivers would accept the limitation of a BEV, if it put money in their pockets!
I've mentioned it before, it a complex game and supply/price/availability is in the hands of a few companies, for whom the switchover is a big gamble.
I think the government could switch from incentives to coercion - making ICE cars more and more expensive and emissions requirements (for all cars in a brand). Those targets could only be met by manufactures having (and selling) BEVs at a low price!
I'm sticking with my current BEV waiting for prices to fall - it could be a long wait.
 

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If you look at the cost of the Nissan LEAF before the £5k Grant was launched it was £5,000 cheaper....... make of that what you will!
I agree... look at the Ampera... Vauxhall announced the likely price publically months before launch... then at launch they increased the price by - you guessed it - £5000.

I have always believed that the grant was not designed to help drivers but it was a backhanded way to support the manufacturers. Call me cynical if you like and perhaps I am way off base but it sure feels like than and has done right from the start to me.
 

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