Electric car apathy comes as no shock

21 July 2011
A few months ago, Shaun McCarthy succinctly summed up the dilemma for fleet buyers over whether electric cars are a truly sustainable option for purchase. This uncertainty and apathy has been borne out with news this morning that - even with grants of up to £5,000 to cut the cost - just 680 electric cars have been bought since the government launched a £400 million scheme to promote their use in January. It’s not exactly the ‘revolution’ heralded when the programme was launched. Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, repeated the problem buyers face. “Despite the lower fuel costs associated with electric cars, the high purchase price means it will take owners several years to reap the financial benefits of not choosing fossil-fuel powered vehicles,” he told the Daily Telegraph. In California they have a different problem. According to the LA Times, the state has run out of money to pay for $5,000 (around £3,100) rebates they were offering to buyers of electric vehicles. This has left a waiting list of around 500 people who have bought cars, but haven’t got their rebate. But experts believe demand is sufficiently high that people will not be put off by a lack of rebate. And if these buyers fancy a right-hand drive model, I’m sure the UK government would be more than willing to offer them a good deal.
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