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Mitsubishi petitions PM for tax breaks

Date: 22 November 2007   |   Author: Tristan Young

In a bid to make selling a new electric car viable in Britain, UK Mitsubishi boss Jim Tyrrell has written to the Prime Minister lobbying for greater tax incentives for greener cars.

Tyrrell was critical of the way Labour is only punishing drivers out of high CO2 vehicles and not offering any incentives to drive cleaner cars.

Mitsubishi will put an electric version of its new iCar into production at the end of 2008 to go on sale in Japan, where the firm expects to sell 1000 a year.

Tyrrell believes he could sell 500 a year in the UK for between £15,000 and £20,000 each. However, he believes that if the Government waived import duty and VAT for such vehicles the price could drop as low as £12,000.

Currently dubbed the i-Miev, the five-door electric iCar can be charged to 80% capacity in two hours and 100% in 5-6 hours, giving the car a range of 100 miles.

"I really want the Miev for the UK," said Tyrell. "We've got five demo cars coming to the UK next year.

"I have written to the Government this week asking them to put their money where their mouth is and discount cleaner cars."

Tyrell pointed out that the Italian government currently offers a 6000 Euro subsidy on green cars.

Speaking to BusinessCar Tyrell added: "I wrote to Gordon Brown to make the point that they are penalising drivers at one end of the spectrum, but what are they doing at the other end?"

Tyrell commented that we writes regularly to Government ministers on motor industry-related issues and said he had limited success with his lobbying on the benefit-in-kind taxation of pick-ups.