The Government is set to scrap the £5,000 grants designed to lure British consumers into buying electric cars after experts found the incentive has done little to help the environment.
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According to the Daily Mail, Ministers said last night that the taxpayer-funded grants could not be 'maintained indefinitely', and the subsidies will be reduced before being phased out.
Introduced two years ago to boost sales of electric, emission-free vehicles, a report published by the Commons Transport Select Committee last September claimed that instead, the subsidies were simply allowing 'affluent households' to buy a second car on the cheap.
And despite the £11 million spent by the Government on grants, and the installation of more than 1,600 public charging points around the country, demand for electric cars has remained low.
Many drivers were found to suffer 'range anxiety', worrying about the distance they can travel in a single charge, while most were unsure about where public charge points were located.
However, research commissions by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) suggests that the grants play an 'important role' in nine out of ten electric vehicle purchases.
Ministers said that tax subsidies for electric company cars would continue 'until at least 2020', and have reportedly pledged £500 million to support the development of electric and 'green' vehicles between 2015 and 2020 as part of what Transport Minister Norman Baker called an 'ambitious but realistic' new strategy.
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