UK Government Approves £5,000 Incentive Program

We all know that governments around the world are willing to support the struggling automakers, but it simply seems like the United Kingdom is really keen on this. The British authorities today approved subsidies of up to 5,000 pounds to direct new car buyers towards electric or plug-in hybrid but, even if it all sounds like milk and honey, the government plan already started raising eyebrows among green car supporters.

First of all, the aforementioned incentive is included in a broader plan worth 250 million pounds to reduce emissions in the country, BBC News said today. But what's really interesting is that complying with the government's requirements seems to be "mission impossible", as some advanced hybrids, including the Toyota Prius, are not eligible for the incentives.

However, requirements to qualify for government funds are still unclear at this point, but UK officials expect to see first compliant models to surface in two years time.

The plan was especially aimed at "encouraging the idea that electric vehicles will become part of everyday life, that people will take them for granted and they will look and feel the same as any other car," Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon was quoted as saying by BBC.

Obviously, green car supporters are delighted with the plan but insist that further efforts, especially in the public transportation domain, have to be made as soon as possible.

"Electric cars are only as green as the electricity they run on - ministers must do far more to boost the UK's flagging renewable energy industry," said Friends of the Earth's transport campaigner Tony Bosworth.

"Low carbon vehicles are certainly part of the future, but more extensive measures are needed to make the necessary cuts in transport emissions. Far more must be done to get people out of their cars by making public transport, cycling and walking more attractive options."

A separate government incentive program especially aimed at people who are willing to scrap their old cars in exchange for a new and less-polluting model is also in the works, with a final decision expected to be announced next week. Current reports are claiming that the UK plans to offer up to 2,000 pounds for buyers who agree to trade their old cars for new ones.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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