Gavin Shoebridge – an electric vehicle nut, a keen environmentalist

                Electric Car Conversion Blog By Gavin Shoebridge

December 11th, 2009 at 1:06 am

The United Kingdom of Electric Cars

When one thinks of the united Kingdom, images of tea, scones and cricket spring to mind. That could soon change however as yet another batch of pro-EV incentives have been released at both local and national government levels.

To start with, London’s mayor Boris Johnson announced in April that his goal is for London to become the “Electric car capital of Europe”. Charging points will be installed at Tube stations by the end of the year, with others being installed in shopping centre car parks, offices and in residential streets soon after. The mayor plans to have a total of 25,000 charging points installed across London by 2015.

An already well known benefit to driving an EV in London is the exemption from Congestion Charges. The Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003 to tax drivers in London city at certain times in order to reduce congestion. Fortunately for electric car drivers this charge does not apply.

Next on the list of reasons to go electric in the UK: British minister of parliament Alistair Darling announced just yesterday that all electric cars will be exempt from company car tax for the next five years. This means big savings for both small and large companies, and an increase in EVs amongst the UK’s 1 million company-owned vehicles.

Want even more? You got it: Just a few days ago Lord Mandelson’s Business Department announced a £5,000 grant, available around March 2010 to help individual businesses buy electric cars instead of petrol or diesel vehicles.

Coupled with the benefit of free parking for EVs in many boroughs, and the talk of EVs being able to use bus lanes in the future, it seems there have never been so many reasons to ditch gas and go electric across the UK.

The only thing holding most motorists back, is the lack of full-speed, long-range electric cars available to buy, and the prohibitively high prices expected when they finally become available.

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