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Electric Vehicles

Volume 493: debated on Friday 12 June 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of electric vans and light commercial vehicles in use on public roads; and what plans he has to facilitate greater usage of vehicles. (278760)

The number of electric light goods vehicles registered in Great Britain as at 31 December 2008 was 4,149.

The Government have a number of policies in place to facilitate greater use of electric vehicles. Electric cars and vans are exempt from vehicle excise duty and fuel duty. Businesses which purchase electric and low carbon cars can claim enhanced capital allowances and people who use electric cars as their company car pay the lowest rate of benefit in kind.

In addition to these fiscal measures the Government recently announced a £250 million scheme to support the purchase of electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars. This scheme will take effect from 2011 onwards and will help reduce the price of these cars to consumers by £2 to 5,000. The Department for Transport’s low carbon vehicle procurement programme is also supporting the demonstration of low carbon and all-electric vans in the public sector and the winners of the procurement exercise for this project will be announced shortly.