Vince Cable warns on £5000 EV subsidy
05 July 2010
Author: Tristan Young
Fleets looking for clarity on the £5000 electric car subsidy will have to wait even longer after Business Secretary Vince Cable reiterated the planned subsidy may not be signed-off due to Government cutbacks.
Speaking at the SMMT's annual automotive summit, Cable said: "I recognise that other countries have offered more, but we can't fight - and we can't win - a subsidy war."
However, he added that the Government would issue a decision as soon as possible.
"We are looking at the best ways to support the changes in consumer behaviour that will drive the shift towards hybrid and low carbon technologies.
"This is why we are currently considering the important decision of provision of direct support for purchases of ultra-low carbon vehicles, including electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and reviewing the options for the best way to deliver a national vehicle charging infrastructure as well as a Smart grid and smart metering.
"I have been asked when there will be a decision on the £5000 to support purchases of ultra-low carbon vehicles, so I know there is some frustration. I can't tell you the outcome yet but I know it's important."
However, Cable did sound one positive note, adding: "I do think we have some role to play in actually facilitating the wider shift to lower carbon vehicles. Helping hurry along the price signals that move the market in that direction."
He also added a positive note for British industry when he answered a question from a member of Unite who asked if the Government would institute a buy-British policy on its procurement, including vehicle fleets.
"Where we can do this then we will to help British industry," answered Cable.
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