Mike Stevens | Apr 23, 2009

The UK government is so strongly focused on eradicating pollutant-belching transportation, it has declared its intent ot make the British Isles the electric car capital of Europe.

Ok, an ambitious claim, but to assist Britons with the transition to electron-powered vehicles, hybrid and electric car buyers will be offered a rebate of between £2,000 and £5,000 (AU$4,105 and $10,270).

electric-smart

The UK Department for transport estimates that the widespread use of cars with an electric range of 50 kilometres or more could reduce road-generated CO2 emissions by 50 percent.

To encourage the uptake of electric vehicles the government will offer rebate incentives as part of a five-year plan costing £250 million (AU$513 million). Part of that budget also includes £20 million (AU$41 million) earmarked for giving 200 members of the public electric vehicles as part of a widespread feasibility test.

"Cutting road transport CO2 emissions is a key element to tackling climate change," said Transport Secretary, Geoff Hoon.

"Less than 0.1 percent of the UK's 26 million cars are electric, so there is a huge untapped potential to reduce emissions.

"What we've got to get people used to is the idea that electric cars will become quite normal, quite usual."

Hoon is also aware that purchasing decisions are often effected by "the reduction in the cost of fuel rather than their concern about carbon emissions." To make the plan reality, and to get things right 'on the ground', the UK Government will be working closely with London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Mayor Johnson wants to see 100,000 electric vehicles introduced into the heart of London, backed up by 25,000 charging points. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also said he would consider ordering electric vehicles for ministerial use.

Follow Mike Stevens on Google+