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Government getting it wrong on green

Now we’re not ones to usually get involved in electric vehicle debates, but when the Government persistently gets motoring matters wrong, well it makes our blood boil! This time the Transport Select Committee is questioning the Government’s spending on promoting electric cars and upon seeing the figures, well we were shocked.

There are currently 1,706 electric vehicles on the road, just 0.05 percent of the overall number of vehicles on UK roads, and the Government has earmarked £11million to provide charging points for them. That means a staggering £6,450 per motorist! During the current economic climate, the viability of spending this much money on such a small minority has to be questioned.

And do you know what else? Those motorists received a £5,000 subsidy towards buying the vehicle in the first place, equivalent to 25 percent of the vehicle’s purchase price, and on top of that they’re exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty.

These subsidies are a good way of promoting the sale of electric vehicles and wouldn’t be such a point of contention if it wasn’t for one other detail that came out during the hearing: plug-in cars are mostly purchased as second cars by wealthy folk. That means the Government is effectively subsidising rich households so they can have a second car! And to the tune of £6,450 each.

Now fair enough, we all understand the need to look to the future and investment is a part of this. But it’s clear this is too much public money being spent for the benefit of a small, wealthy minority. There needs to be better ways of investing to create the legacy of greener travel and making it more accessible to poorer motorists. Until then it’s simply unfair for the Government to plug this much money into plug-in cars.


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