Sales Of Electric Cars Appear To Be Stalling

Despite hopes for an increase in the sales of electric cars in 2011, uptake appears to have fizzled out judging from the new figures which have been released. Although the government launched a ‘plugged in car grant’ scheme which could be worth up to £5000, numbers have failed to materialize in line with expectations.

The SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) have been quick to point out that sales have increased from a total of 167 in 2010 to 940 for this year to date, spread over the grant scheme and private buyers for electric vehicles. It had been hoped by industry members and campaigners that 2011 would be the year that low carbon alternatives would begin to show signs of rivalling conventional vehicles in the buyers market. The government incentive has not generated the anticipated interest and this has been partly due to the lack of electric vehicles available through the scheme, only 5 models in total, and the current difficulties of access to charging stations.

Even allowing for the grant allowance and long term fuel savings, a Nissan Leaf can still set you back an initial £25,990. There are several high profile models due to be available on sale next year, including a plug-in variant of the Toyota Prius, the Renault Fluence ZE and the Vauxhall Ampera.

Transport campaigner for Friends of the Earth, Tony Bosworth, said that running conventional cars on less fuel should be the top priority in the medium term, looking to improvements for access to electric vehicles as a long term solution.

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