The subsidy was announced by the Labour government in 2009 but placed on hold by the Coalition until the autumn spending review. From January, any motorist buying a new generation electric car, or ultra-low carbon hybrid, will get 25 per cent off, up to a maximum £5,000.
However, the number of grants has been slashed from a minimum of 46,000 to as few as 8,600. The scheme has been partially ring-fenced from cuts following pressure from car makers and Britain’s green energy industry.The grants will be available just in time for the UK launch of the Nissan Leaf, the first major rival to the globally successful Toyota Prius.
A full grant would cut the cost of a new Leaf from £28,350 to £23,350, according to a report in The Sun.
Once charged, the cars run for about 70 miles, costing just 3p a mile.Nissan’s Sunderland factory assembles the Leaf, meaning Britain is the company’s third-biggest global electric car base. Nissan itself received grants from the Government to build the Leaf in Sunderland, where the workforce of 4,100 built 338,000 Qashqai, Note and Micra models in 2008.
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