Cities Plan Electric Car Perks To Drive Up Sales
Free parking and use of the bus lane are two of the benefits which may be offered to drivers of electric cars. The Government is investing £40m in schemes promoting the technology in a bid to get more people to switch.
Eight areas have won a cut of the money, with London, Bristol, Nottingham and Milton Keynes getting the biggest shares.
They produced a number of proposals such as building street lights that double as charge points and making 25,000 parking spaces free for plug-in car owners, saving commuters up to £1,300 a year.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin described the winning bids as “exciting, innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car”.
He added: “The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600m by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040.”
In 2015 sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles rose by 40% from the previous year to 72,775.
Sarah Wilkinson spoke to Newsium while test driving an electric car in Milton Keynes, which received £9m of investment.
She said no tax and no fumes made the decision to switch from a traditional car easy.
“I think the environment is generally the way forward for cars – and the price, not to have to fill up at a petrol station, just to plug it in on the drive, and go,” she said. “It’s brilliant.”
However, with some models requiring charging around every 85 miles many drivers remain unconvinced and critics claim the investment is a waste of public money while cuts were being made to other budgets.
Jonathan Isaby from the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “The Government at the moment is spending way beyond its means. It hasn’t balanced the nations books.
“The money is simply not there to fund extravagant schemes which are frankly vanity projects aimed at a very few number of people who have chosen to buy very expensive vehicles.”