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Government extends green subsidy to electric vans. But will businesses go green?

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2011-Renault-Kangoo-ZE-Front-Side-View.jpgIs the white van man about to be replaced by the green van man? Today the government's plug-in car grants scheme is to be extended to vans, with buyers being allowed to claim up to £8,000 off their new electric vehicle.

Under the new scheme, owners can receive 20 per cent off the cost of a plug-in van, capped at top value of £8,000 while electric car buyers will continue to be able to claim 25 per cent of the value of their vehicles, capped at a maximum value of £5,000.

It is a year since the plug-in car grants first launched, with the Department for Transport recently revealing that just 1052 eligible were sold through the scheme in 2011 - using up just £5.26 million of the £250 million allocated for the consumer incentive.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "Electric vehicles are the arrowhead for a low carbon revolution in motoring and as more models come to market we'll begin to see sales gather pace.

"Car buyers have had a year to take advantage of our grant and now it's time for van buyers to get their chance to go electric. This is great news for businesses given the lower running costs of these vehicles - fleet buyers tell us that this is one of the most important factor influencing their decision on what to buy."

There are currently 10 cars eligible for the Plug-In Car Grant - 5 of which came onto the market in 2011, with the other half expected to be available to purchase this year.

From today, van manufacturers will be able to apply for their vehicles to become part of the scheme. The first eligible vans are expected to be announced before the end of the month, with vehicles such as Renault's Kangoo Z.E (pictured) likely to appear on that early list.

Let's hope businesses embrace green vehicles more than consumers have so far. However, without a major development in the network of electric charging points - and with electric vehicles costing so much more than petrol vehicles - I suspect it is going to take some time to turn white van man green.

Via The Green Car website


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