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UK Government Launches £250M 5-Year Plan for Cutting CO2 from Road Transport; Includes Incentives for Purchase of PHEVs and EVs

High-level technology roadmap for the UK’s decarbonization of road transport. Click to enlarge.

The UK Transport and Business Secretaries launched the Government’s vision for cutting carbon from road transport over the next five years. Central to the £250-million (US$373-million) strategy is a consumer incentive initiative for plug-in vehicles worth £2,000 - £5,000 (US$3,000 - US$7,500) towards buying the first electric and plug-in hybrid cars when they hit the showrooms, expected to be from 2011 onwards.

The strategy also includes plans to provide £20 million (US$30 million) for charging points and related infrastructure to help develop a network of “electric car cities” throughout the UK and an expansion of an electric and ultra-low carbon car demonstration project on the UK’s roads. The demonstration project will involve more than 200 motorists throughout the country.

Cutting road transport CO2 emissions is a key element to tackling climate change. Less than 0.1% of the UK’s 26 million cars are electric, so there is a huge untapped potential to reduce emissions. The scale of incentives we’re announcing today will mean that an electric car is a real option for motorists as well as helping to make the UK a world leader in low carbon transport.

—Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon

The Government has already committed around £400 million (US%597 million) of support to encourage development and uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles:

  • £23 million for the TSB Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform - phase 1
  • £100 million for the TSB Low Carbon Vehicle Integrated Delivery Programme
  • £20 million for the DfT Low Carbon Vehicle Public Procurement Programme
  • £250 million for the DfT EV consumer incentive package

This is in addition to a £2.3 billion (US$3.4 billion) package of support for the automotive sector in the downturn that has been specifically designed to support the development of green technologies to provide solutions for carbon reduction and a world leading low carbon automotive industry.

In conjunction with the funding announcement, the Government published a document which sets out how it will coordinate public sector activity and work with industry and academia to:

  • Build on the R&D activities of the automotive industry to make the UK a leading place in the world to develop, demonstrate and manufacture ultra-low carbon vehicles.

  • Accelerate market penetration of ultra-low carbon cars which will contribute materially to the overall national target on emissions for greenhouse gases and air pollutants.

  • Maximize the benefit to UK operating firms and supply chains of this accelerated market penetration and continue to attract inward investment for the development and production of ultra-low carbon vehicles.




This is another excellent initiative to promote greener electrified vehicles.

Lets hope that accellerated battery development will follow soon.

The new, very quick charge, improved lithium Toshiba battery may be the first step in the required breakthough. Let's see what others can do.

China's BYD new F3 PHEVs is an interesting development. Many more will follow in the next 2 to 3 years.


I did not know where to put this, so here it is:

"This latest Rotapac Power Module follows an earlier 35 KW very compact Rotapac unit the company developed for the hybrid car industry under a DARPA/CALSTART contract. Both units occupy less than 20% of the volume and weight of existing gen-sets."


They have a wankel genset that has just take an order for 900,000 units to power range extended PHEVs.


Sorry folks but this is nothing more really than a political stunt to make the UK government look like they care about a flagging car industry, and to appease a strong environmental movement in the UK.

The UK does not have any major home owned car companies anymore. Those left tend to support the F1 industry or churn out specialist sports cars.

The environmental movement doesn't like the idea of electric vehicles, as power needs will lead to more demand for power stations with limited capacity for renewables to meet this increased demand.

As an aside, most environmental and transport campaign groups are radically left wing and are, not surprisingly, sponsored by the public transport lobby. So any way of sustaining the growth or even the status quo of car ownership and use will be resisted. In short, such groups would rather (and unrealistically) see a utopian car-less society so it doesn't matter whether cars run on petroleum fuels, biofuels, electricity or even CO2.

The ony people who will benefit from this subsidy will be people seeking the holier than thou transport moral high ground, whilst the rest of us will face ever increasing taxes (which are already high enoungh)and a missed opporunity to ramp up funding for research and development of sustainable biofuels from feedstocks such as algae - something that would benefit the masses rather than the few almost straight away.

Personally I think sustainable biofuels from sources such as algae is a much better road to follow towards decarbonising transport. I've no doubt that hybrid will become a more common feature in new cars (although the benefits do tend to be overstated on paper and are not realised in full in practice). However, unless hydogen fuel cells take off (unlikely in the short to medium term), I think electric cars will still resemble those 'G-Whiz' monstrosities which are confined to short runs in urban areas.


I would agree in general that biofuels can be done more quickly and more effectively than fleet replacement. Hybrids at 2% of sales will not get us there. CNG and electric can help, but require replacement or retrofit. People may be able to get newer cars to run cellulose E85 fairly easily.



Have you noticed the rise in BYD's stock price since it started to produce their F3 PHEV? It is closing in on $20, i.e. close to 100% gain in the last 2 months. W. Buffet may have made an excellent investment.

Low cost PHEVs may be very profitable for manufacturers producing low cost batteries and low cost electrified vehicles.

The larger BYD F6 PHEV should be out soon.

Will S

Scott wrote;

So any way of sustaining the growth or even the status quo of car ownership

The decline in oil production will remove any semblance of the status quo of car ownership. Algae is find to talk about, but hanging the country's national security on that is a bit like holding the torch for fusion to come to the rescue. It's funny how some people think that the world is entitled to endless amounts of oil, when they sip beer that holds the remnants of a booming yeast population that overshot it's sugar supply.

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