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Calls grow for EV van subsidy

Date: 19 April 2011   |   Author:

The groundswell of calls for LCVs to be eligible for the Government's £5000 electric vehicle subsidy gathered pace at last week's Commercial Vehicle Show, with a number of interested parties pushing authorities to extend the grant.

Geoff Allison, managing director of Smith Electric Vehicles, told BusinessCar that the firm is pushing for the grant "at the highest level."

"If everything was common sense, then it would include LCVs," he said. "There is some support there. I think it's a case of watch this space. They are starting to listen now. I'm in London once a month talking to people and you can feel a shift."

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said the Government may have "feared that the incentive would have needed to be more significant to make it attractive to the commercial vehicle market, and to a certain extent maybe they weren't seeing the opportunities that exist around the lighter end of the market." He felt authorities were looking more at larger trucks with higher capital costs. "We're hoping to convince them that there is potential for a package of support for these lighter commercial vehicles," he said. "I'm not holding my breath at the moment, but that is the next stage."

A Department for Transport spokesman told BusinessCar sister title What Van? last year that vans are not covered in the £5000 per vehicle subsidy because "cars are responsible for the majority of road transport emissions."

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