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Electric Car Subsidies Don’t Generate Much Business

July 12, 2012

By Paul Homewood



In January 2011, the UK government introduced a £5000 subsidy for Plug In Electric Cars. This naturally had eco loonies wetting their knickers, with the Guardian announcingElectric cars are set to experience a breakthrough in 2011 due to a £5,000 car grant introduced by the government today, experts predict.”.

So what impact has the subsidy had? According to information given to me under a FOI request, not a lot!

During the last financial year ending April 2012, a total of 881 cars qualified for the grant, at a cost of £4.4 million. None of these were manufactured in the UK, although the Nissan Leaf, which sold 543 last year, is planned for UK production in 2013. This, of course, raises the question – why is taxpayer money being wasted on subsidising foreign made cars?

To put the numbers into perspective, UK new car sales totalled 1,941,253 last year, so one in every 2203 was electric.

Still the response in the UK has been “electric” in comparison to Spain. Despite the bankrupt Spanish government offering Eu6000 grants, our Iberian cousins only bought 122.

Which, I guess, only goes to show that there are a hell of a lot more Rich Liberals in the UK than Spain.



The UK Committee on Climate Change insists that we need 1.7 million Electric Cars on the road by 2020. And we pay these idiots?

  1. July 13, 2012 2:19 pm

    How many of these bought electric cars were replacement for fuel cars?
    Reading about the TESLA I noticed that they are often added to an existing car pool.

    • July 13, 2012 3:01 pm

      Yes, that’s my impression.People use them for running round town, but have a proper car for out of town.

      Having two cars, of course, rather negates any CO2 savings!

  2. dave ward permalink
    July 13, 2012 2:31 pm

    “And we pay these idiots?”

    Unfortunately we don’t have a choice – unless you refuse to pay taxes and end up in prison…

  3. klem permalink
    August 14, 2012 1:19 pm

    In the USA there is a $7000 subsidy for buying e-cars. Many people buy the car, receive the subsidy a week later from the government, then promptly the return the car for a full refund and keep the subsidy. Cool huh? Lol!

    Look, e-cars have been around since the 1920’s and they disapeared because no one bought them. Every 20 years or so they make a comeback and when nobody buys them they vanish. As it is, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt have sold about 20k units in total, this is insignificant. And most of those purchases were companies using the cars for promotional purposes, not bought by the general public. In comparison, the lowly Chevy Cruze has sold 250k units in the same timeframe.

    It always comes down the the same thing regarding e-cars, people talk the talk but nobody walks the walk. People like e-cars but nobody actually buys them.

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