‘Reverse decision to cut grants for electric cars’
A Midlands green energy expert has called upon the future new Prime Minister to reverse the decision to cut the grant for electric cars.
Ron Fox was commenting after last week’s announcement that Theresa May was stepping down on June 7 and the search to find a new leader would begin the following week.
“It will be a good opportunity for a new person to review all our environmental policies, especially on transport,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park.
Latest figures show that drivers in European countries bought twice as many battery cars as those in the UK last year.
Ron said one factor must be the government’s controversial decision last autumn to reduce the grant for electric cars from £4,500 to £3,500 and to abolish incentives for plug-in hybrids which run on a combination of battery power and combustion engines.
He said he was concerned that the Government might not now reach its target to phase out new petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
In Europe sales of cars powered by battery were twice as high in France and Germany compared to Britain. Meanwhile, Norway sold three times as many electric cars as us and the Netherlands sales were 70 per cent higher, with both countries having considerably smaller populations.
Sales of electric cars in the United Kingdom rose by only 13.8 per cent last year, a quarter of the European average and the second lowest figure on the continent with just Switzerland smaller.
However, the Department of Transport pointed out that a fifth of all battery-electric vehicles built in Europe last year were made in Britain.
Ron said that one of the problems is that electric cars cost up to £10,000 more than their petrol and diesel equivalents and this was made worse by the cut in grants. This price discrepancy is set to continue until the mid-2020s.
But research by the International Council on Clean Transportation said that electric cars were already cheaper to own and run compared to petrol and diesel over four years. But they say the higher cost price is the biggest barrier for customers.
At present battery-only cars make up less than one per cent of total new car sales in the UK.
“The longer we take to move over to electric cars so the problem of cutting the toxic air in the atmosphere from petrol and diesel cars continues,” said Ron.
It is estimated this contributes to an estimated 40,000 early deaths a year, posing a particular problem to the young, the elderly and those suffering with lung conditions.
He added that for those drivers who wished to go green there are companies now who convert existing cars to electric. The problem is it costs from £9,000 upwards for a conversion.
To find out more about the advantages of moving to electric cars and how to improve the indoor air quality in your home contact Ron Fox at Noreus Ltd on 0845 474 6641 or 078171 26945.