Drivers with plug in vehicles are set to benefit from a £37m funding package for home and on-street charging and for new charge points for people parking plug in vehicles at railway stations. That’s according to a press release from the Department for Transport. Bicycles are vehicles in law but when the DfT talks about ‘plug in vehicles’ it only ever means electric cars and vans.
The DfT will provide 75 percent of the cost of installing new charge points, including for at-home use. This is on top of the £5000 subsidy offered to rich buyers of electric cars (White E-Van Man can claim £8000). Despite such sweeteners, sales of electric cars are far below predictions and the rich car industry is urging the Government to provide even more fat grants.
The £37m funding for the package comes from the Government’s £400m commitment to increase the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles (remember, cars not bikes) and is available until April 2015.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is in Sunderland today, visiting Nissan which is making the Leaf electric car. He said: "This investment underlines the Government’s commitment to making sure that the UK is a world leader in the electric car industry. Plug in vehicles can help the consumer by offering a good driving experience and low running costs. They can help the environment by cutting pollution. And most importantly of all, they can help the British economy by creating skilled manufacturing jobs in a market that is bound to get bigger.”
Bound to get bigger? Even if it triples in size it would still be tiny. As of 31 December 2012, only 3200 claims had been made for the Plug-in Car and Plug-in Van grants. The massive Government investment in public infrastructure for electric cars and vans is not given a second thought. What about a massive Government investment for purchasers of the real pollution busters, bicycles? And as e-cars are the same size as standard cars, flooding the streets with e-cars (only a fantasy so far) will do exactly nothing to reduce congestion. Mad, really.