The venerable Smart fortwo electric drive has been named as among the first 9 electric vehicles to be eligible for up to £5,000 in subsidy starting January 1 next year, as part of a government-backed bid to support the adoption of electric vehicles and electric technology that will help reduce the harmful emissions contributed by the automotive sector.
Philip Hammond, British Secretary of State for Transport, gave his thoughts about the program. “Anyone who’s filled up at a petrol station recently will realise that the ability to recharge overnight at 1-3 pence per kilometre is extremely attractive,” said Hammond in an interview with the BBC.
The subsidy allows prospective buyers to get 25 percent off their EV purchase, up to a maximum amount of £5,000. It’s a considerable incentive, and should help seal the deal for many still on the fence.
There is also a £20m fund set up to accommodate additional charging points over the country, located at the east of England, the Midlands, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Greater Manchester. These new locations will add to the current charging points already assigned to London, north-east England and Milton Keynes.
The other cars greenlit for the subsidy program are the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Peugeot iOn, Nissan Leaf, TaTa Vista, Citroen CZero, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Vauxhall Ampera, and the Chevrolet Volt. The i-MiEV and iON will accompany the Fortwo electric drive when the trio goes on sale this January, although the latter two vehicles will only be available via a four-year lease.