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back to article Govt powers up electric cars with £5k subsidy

Anyone looking to buy an electric car in the UK could soon be eligible for a £5000 ($7500/€5600) rebate, thanks to a new government eco motoring incentive. Ampera Cars like Vauxhall's Ampera (above) could become £5K cheaper come 2011 The subsidy, grant, rebate or whatever you care to call it will be available from 2011 and …

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That'll be giving money to rich bastards again then won't it?

The thought of my hard earned money being stolen by the government to be given to rich car buying bastards sickens me. Tax is for hospitals schools and supporting those that need it, not for siphoning off into the pockets of people who donate money to political parties.

The level of government theft and corruption in this country is astounding.

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Well, that'll work . . .

. . . or more likely it'll go like the Australian renewable energy grant, whereby all the manufacturers simply increase their prices, safe in the knowledge that the grant reduces the price back to what they actually intended in the first place.

Besides, if all these hybrids and 'leccy cars are so good and such a good thing, then why the need for a subsidy ? Could it be because they are shit, no-one really wants them and they are impractical.

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How to lie with statistics

"Something like 35 per cent of all our carbon emissions are caused by domestic transport", he said. "Of that, 58 per cent of the emissions are caused by motor cars”

Why didn't he just say "20 per cent of all our carbon emissions are caused by cars"? 20% is still a big figure, but spinning it into categories to make the numbers larger is just sleazy.

How about tackling the largest chunk of the remaining 80%? ...or would that upset companies with large amounts of cash and influence?

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Alert

Kerchinnnng!

Anyone want to bet that the price wont suddenly rise by £5,000?

No ?

What a bunch of cynics you lot are....

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How is this electrickery going to be powered?

We're not exactly overburdoned with surplus electricity production at the moment. Not by coal or gas (displacing the CO2 production would just be a load of greenwashing hypocracy). Not by nuclear (causes too much ecomentalist confusion and will take a good 20 years to get on line). So that leaves wind/wave. The roads are going to pretty quiet on overcast still days.

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Joined up thinking - again

I assume that no car manufactuer is planning to sell a single hybrid car in the UK next year?

This is exactly the same as what happened when they mentioned they 'may' stop collecting stamp duty and then didn't - it caused the housing market to stall completely while everyone waited.

Is anyone going to risk buying one if they could wait and get a discount of 5K?

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Hmmmmm

So..... 35% comes from transport, 58% of that comes from cars, so overall 20% comes from cars - taking into account that most of the energy to charge the batteries comes from coal and the actual number of electric cars will be relatively small for years in proportion to the total number of cars on the road what appreciable difference will this have to manmade CO2 emissions? Genius waste of money.......

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MJI
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Some points

Firstly I cannot afford a Tesla, or a Jaguar XJ-E, and which electric car could tow my caravan 200 miles on one charge - and keep the fridge cool.

Secondly where is all the power coming from?

Thirdly - why are most electric cars horrible?

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carbon emissions

Out of interest, how much carbon will be produced in burning fossil fuels to produce the electricity that these cars will run on?

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Poluting electric cars

If these magical zero emission electric cars get their power from mr smog belching coal powerstation, I fail to see how that helps reduce emissions...

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That'll stop 'em buying.

Who is going to buy a leccy car now, knowing that they can get £5k off from 2011 and knowing the 'rebate' will clobber the resale value too?

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Should have been invested in hydrogen research.

Investing in research doesn't allow for flag waving though I guess.

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Anonymous Coward

Nuclear power

Are all these new electric cars why the government needs another nuclear power station, after all burning coal to recharge your electric car is hardly co2 friendly.

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Rob
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Cynical

Is this not an excuse for the manufacturers just to add about 4-5k on to their prices, that way they get even more money out of us, we buy the car and hand over our tax money at the same time.

The theme for this recession is hand outs to all and any who want them, those who work for a living and pay tax are exempt though.

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With an energy budget like this, it is a good thing he's not Chancelor of the Exchequer

A G-Wiz is currently about £7K. I am sure that next year it will be £12K.

I do not see 3500 gigantic windmills under construction, so Gordon ¿must? have come up with some other power source for all these electric vehicles. A sterling engine can convert hot air into electricity, but even Nu-labour will struggle to meet demand.

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Boffin

£5K

That's not going to go very far against the cost of a Tesla.

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Carbon Emissions?

Why do we get fixated on the carbon emissions of running a car?

I have a perfectly good car, does 31mpg on the sort of runs it does.

What is the C footprint of scrapping this car? What is the environmental footprint of recycling the metal, recycling the plastics, the oil etc.

What is the C footprint of manufacturing a new electric/hybrid/traditonal car? What is the environmental footprint of melting and rolling the steel, the manufacture and moulding of the plastics? What about the batteries? What about the environmental impact of replacing those batteries?

All of this is of course moot because I don't have the money to buy a replacement beat up old wreck never mind some stupidly priced new car with, or without, subsidies.

This, like the other "scrap your current car and buy a new one" deal designed to boost the car industry just shows how out of touch with society Gordon, and the rest of the parasitic scum in Westminster are.

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Approval

As someone looking to have an electric car as a first car, I approve of this. Assuming the manufacturers don't just up prices by the same.

Making things cheaper makes the transition easier, EvilGav. New technologies will always have room to get better. "Shit and impractical" would be your, probably third-hand, opinion.

Unless, of course, you own an Tesla Roadster already?

(I'm excluding piss-weak quad-bike "cars", they just seem like a death trap)

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* price after govt EV subsidy

These cars should only qualify for the subsidy if it results in the vehicle being equal or lower in price than the equivalent petrol/diesel powered model from the same manufacturer.

As previously stated, without regulation manufacturers will just 'top-up' their pricing with whatever the car qualifies for from the scheme. EVs currently seem to be priced like low volume cars, so they are far more expensive than their mass-produced counterparts. The manufacturers have to bite the bullet and accept that the R&D they are doing now can be amortized over the range of EVs they produce over the next decade or more instead of trying to recoup it on a single model.

Has anyone done a tear-down and BOM for any of these cars based on costings for common car industry parts, plus whatever the items unique to EV (at reasonable prices, not NASA rates)?

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Um, what about infrastructure?

I'd be interested and I'll be needing a new car in a few years' time potentially, but as I live in a flat where am I supposed to charge the thing?

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Based on CO2 emissions, eh?

I take it this will apply to small petrol engines too then. Looking forward to my 5K, I'm sure my 12 year old 250cc Honda is cleaner than a Prius (say) by any sensible measure. I'm sure I could strap a large, pointless battery to it if I need one to qualify.

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All very well

But where's the solid investment in the renewable energy required to support the carbon reducing sentiments of Mr Hoon. Without renewables you are simply moving the point of carbon emissions from the street to the power plant (although you do remove the noxious gases and particles petrol cars produce).

Or indeed where is the investment in the energy sector in general; there are already concerns about an 'energy gap' which this would only fuel.

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Paris Hilton

genius?

So we have an impeding electrical power problem due to the slow commisioning of new power stations and planned decomissioning of existing ones and yet the government think that it is a good idea to encourage a significant increase in electricity use?

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Battery powered red herring

What about the people who park their cars on the street? It’s all good and well being told you can charge your car up over night to get round the several hours full charge cycle, but the Beeb made me laugh this morning when they reported this.

They showed someone plugging their car in on the street to, what I can only describe as a “charging bollard”. Great, apart from the fact that they were literally “plugging it in”, both ends. 3 pin to the bollard, the other to the charge port on the car.

Now, call me a realist, but I just see that as a prime target for “drunken shenanigans” and ne’er-do-wells to steal your charging cable. You can just see it now. “Ha! Imagine the look on that tw@’s face when his car’s flat in the morning.”

And you can bet your bottom dollar, like mobiles phone chargers, all car manufacturers will make the charging ports on their models non standard so you have to buy a specific charging lead from them. And what price will they be? Will you be happy having to buy a new charging cable once (or more) a week when it’s been robbed?

Plus, where is all this extra juice going to come from? Aren’t we already facing an energy crisis in terms of not having enough in the national grid to power everything now? If nuclear (and I’m not saying I’m pro or anti-nuclear) doesn’t get the go ahead, just how do they plan to create all the green leccy required to power these enviro-boxes?

Bandwagons and jumping spring to mind.

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Anonymous Coward

lol

so when the old plants go offline you wont even be able to drive anywhere coz there aint the power to juice your motor.

If we had all nuclear stations electric cars would be awsome, still environmentally devistating, those batteries arn't nice things. But you'd probably hack 70% or more of our national human carbon production.

The impending power emergancy needs to be dealt with, but naaawww fuck it lets build a wind mill and flog a shit leccy car, that'll make the wankers feel better about themselves.

It's like "Hey guys that building's on fire!"

"Man it is, best put this candle out in case I start another fire"

"Wait, what?"

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@AC

"How about tackling the largest chunk of the remaining 80%? ...or would that upset companies with large amounts of cash and influence?"

Or it might just not be possible with current tech, and they're cutting what they can where they can /now/.

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Cant find a space to park it...

Never mind somewhere to charge it.

Electric vehicles will not catch on until I can find somewhere to charge the damn thing.

"Build it, and they will come"

Could give me a lecy car for free, but I'll still only get as far as the first charge lets me.

Subsidise a network of charging points... Then I'll maybe even buy one at full price.

Tax money going to the wrong place....again.

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eh???

I don't get this electric car business at all.

yay, cars run on electricity, but wait, where does the electricity come from? Power stations! So we come around full circle, back to the original problem of, whats going to run out soon? Coal!!

Why don't they pour some money into something more worth while (instead of lining the pockets of the rich) like hydrogen production, that was all the rage a few years ago

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An easy solution

To all those people who are commenting that they won't be able to charge an electric car without building more coal-fired power stations etc.

Just by a petrol-powered generator and plug your car in to that. There's loads of petrol stations all over the place, so charging isn't a problem. You could even keep the generator in the boot!

Problem Solved.

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Killing the environment

Electricity is not a power source - only a means of transporting it. Losses mean 4 times as much energy has to be used as reaches the socket so it is highly environmentally unfriendly, especially as most of our electricity is from fossil fuels.

80% of the environmental damage done in a car's life is in making it, not using it. Batteries don't last as long as cars currently do (16 years av) and paying £3k for new ones in a car which by then is worth under £1k is economic nonsense so cars will be scrapped earlier, increasing the environmental damage.

Batteries are extremely nasty to the environment with the heavy metals being horrendously damaging to extract and they are not recyclable. They also put us in the hands of unstable regimes with 90% of the world's lithium coming from Bolivia, for example. The additional weight and the acids in wet batteries makes them dangerous in accidents too.

Oh Gordon - why don't you read the research?

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just moving the carbon source

"Something like 35 per cent of all our carbon emissions are caused by domestic transport", he said. "Of that, 58 per cent of the emissions are caused by motor cars”.

And all they are doing is changing it to:

"Something like 35 per cent of all our carbon emissions are caused by domestic transport being charged up", he said. "Of that, 58 per cent of the emissions are caused by powerstations supplying power to home owners charging their motor cars”. ®

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Pirate

Meanwhoile...

In more rural parts, more traditional transport will be used .. horse and cart , and oxen.

A wall of cowpats will keep 'em townies out ........arrrrr!

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Hmm

G Wiz £7000 - £5000 (Subsidy) - £2000 (Scrappage) = 0.

Will you be able to scrap two cars and get a free car plus £2000?

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No sudden recovery for the car industry then

So if the rest of the economy starts to pick up, the "poor" car industry will have to wait until 2011. As there is no way people will rush to buy a car if there is the possibility of getting a 5k discount on one.

Govement Economic Strategy -10

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@ David Nicholson

I'd been thinking along similar lines.

Electric motor more efficient for drivetrain - problem with charging batteries -short range.

Hydrogen to generate electricity - more range - same lack of infrastructure to keep hydrogen tanks topped up.

Use small petrol engine to generate electricity - use electricity to power motors (maybe through some sort of battery storage system) - infrastructure there to top up with petrol. Would this then use less petrol to go the same given distance ? I would have thought so as petrol engine would surely run at constant revs regardless of speed and so could be set as efficiently as possible to keep battery topped up enough to give smooth running.

Isn't this much how Diesel trains work, Diesel engine generating electricy for the motors driving the wheels ?

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A load of old flannel

I've just checked out the Government's own figures and delivering 1kWh via mains electricity to your socket in the wall produces 0.43 kg CO2. Generating an equivalent 1kWh using 'evil' petrol and an internal combustion engine only gives out 0.24 kg CO2.

So let me get this right, the Government are going to subsidise the buying of cars which, whilst having an equivalent power output, churn out nearly twice as much CO2? Surely they should be giving me £5K to buy a lovely new petrol car? Or is it only a bit of green flag waving to appease the environ-mentalists who aren't sharp enough to understand the science?

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Just how do you...

...recycle an electric car battery???

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Flame

coal power stations

PLSES do not flame me

I would much prefer we used all nuclar or wind as well BUT

coal/oil power stations are better that oil cars for several reasions

1. power stations are more efectent that cars

2. all the emitions are in one place and can be caputered easer

3. it is easer to replace less than 100 power stations that are nonley controled by the gov than 1000 or indervidual cars

4. the is more coal and power station oil than petrol (maby this point needs work)

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Paris Hilton

So then......

Can I get £5k for walking to work then?

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Pulled the plug on the 'lectric car....

Seing as practically no one will buy one now

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Don't hold your breath

Maybe I'm just a cynic, but surely the chances of the government actually having to find the cash for this are fairly slim.

2011 is beyond the next election, and there's a fair chance that the present party won't be in power, or at least not in a majority.

It may encourage some people to start building charging networks in the meantime, which would be no bad thing. But I wouldn't bet on being able to get your £5,000 in two years time.

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@By michael Posted Thursday 16th April 2009 12:26 GMT

Your comments might carry more weight if we could understand what you had written.

BTW how do I transport my wife, 2 kids and luggage (including baby's pushchair) 150 miles to the Isle of Wight in an electric car?

I can't see us all getting into a G-wiz, Smart Car or Mini.

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@John Wise

People unplugging your car in the street at night... also people could cheekily charge their cars on your driveway while everyone's at work!

I suspect the answer is some sort of lock and a key - I certainly wouldn't want the charging points on my driveway just open to anyone, I guess others would be the same, so you'd have a key. I'll bet the same is true on the car - can't detach lead unless you have the car key.

Still, it will be interesting to see how long the bollards stay in place when the compensation claims start rolling in from those who've tripped on cables all over the place...

Hopefully, if released, the final version would have a spring-loaded cable reel that only has the car connector on it, tethered into the car until the car key is used to open the latch on the charging port.

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Unhappy

Yer avin a laaaaaaaaaaaaarf

well so much for getting clean air by complicated methods. In London they could reduce emmissions overnight by just banning the hundreds of rancid 'London Tour Buses' which befoul the air and make massive noise polution while usualy carry about 10 passengers. These vehicles aren't part of the transport system and are soley a bunch of private companies persuing profit at the expense of Londoners air and noise quality.

Secondly get the bloody river Thames working! with a river that size running right thru the city from east-to-west it should be full to the brim with river busses which could handle massive amounts of communter traffic while freeing up the roads - the infastructure is already there to suport it and it's a criminal waste not to use such a superb virtualy cost free & pollution cutting resource. And it'd make for rather pleasant peaceful journeys

Politicians have no creativity at all

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@Andrew Kelly

I never sugested you should get one of those over-large remote controlled cars I was just saying that coal/ecetric powered cars are not as bad as the rest of pepol here are making out

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As Nigel said

If you think this has anything to do with the current Administration trying to help business, save the environment or be a benefit to the country you're completely deluded. This is a spiteful, vindictive announcement deliberately announced to begin after the next election. This Government doesn't give a toss about the people anymore; it knows the next election is as good as lost so it's planning ahead to the next one by creating the worst possible secnario for the next Administration, giving it a platform to make lots of noise about how good they really were and grabbing the mindset of the floating voters. You can expect plenty more of these announcements to appear in the coming months designed to have make no difference to our lives while Brown remains in power but cause plenty of misery when whoever is next in the hot seat has to try and sort out the oppressive debts the UK is accumulating.

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Anonymous Coward

@michael

But according to the Governments own stats pulling power from the line is produces twice as much CO2 as producing power by burning petrol.

How is it people think that power stations are more efficent then petrol in an engine?

Coal burnt, heats water, makes steam, turn turbine, create energy, transformed, sent down wires, stored in a battery, converted to turn crank shaft, bit of other stuff, wheels go round, car goes

Petrol enters small chamber, is compressed, makes explosion, pushes back down petrol enters again, this energy goes to turn crank shaft, bit of other stuff, wheels go round, car goes.

Anyone rambling about how Getting power from a station is more efficent then burning petrol is snorting petrol fumes.

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Bicycles

Will this scheme be as difficult to use as the cycle to work scheme? That scheme allows employees to buy a bicycle at about half price, after they've jumped through fifty hoops.

This is clearly just giving money to the car companies. If they were serious about the environment, the money should go towards walking, cycling and public transport (in that order).

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Think like a politican, and you can find solutions for everything ...

@Andrew Kelly: You, your wife and both kids drive a G-Wiz each. Four cars will only cost £8K with subsidy, add a couple of portable generators and your are still price competitive with a new car big enough to carry the for of you and your luggage.

@Adam: AFAIK, parking meters in Canada include a standard power socket so your engine does not freeze solid while you are at work. If the Canadian government can come up with one standard socket, I am sure our government can agree on at least two new standards. Twice as good! Decent home charge points have a power switch inside your house. If someone unplugs your car at night, the switch trips, so they cannot steal your power until they break in and flick the switch back. There you go: everyones' problems solved.

Instead of hulking big batteries around, we could use small batteries to get people to and from main roads, and then over head power lines for the bulk of the journey. As we are leaping towards a Stasi state, a quick run through the national database would show who travelled where in what size car, so peoples' electricity bills could be calculated with equipment that is already budgeted and approved. It is a good thing our government have so much experience of massive IT projects! What could be more popular?

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