Labour promises 2.5 million interest-free loans for electric vehicles

Labour says that it will offer 2.5 million interest-free loans to buyers of electric vehicles to accelerate the uptake of zero-emission vehicles if it is elected.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell confirmed that the loans would be up to a value of £33,000 and be available to low income households, independent contractors and small businesses.

It says the government would cover £1,500 cost of interest and claims recipients would save up to £5,000 over the course of the loan.

However, acceptance into the scheme would require participants to take part on a mass trial of vehicle-to-grid technology, which sees electric cars used as energy storage devices that can be tapped into to take stress off the national grid.

McDonnell said: “This will stimulate the automotive industry, it will sustain jobs in the conversion from fossil fuels to electric but actually it will create new jobs as well.

Labour Party Conference
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell during the Labour Party Conference at the Brighton Centre in Brighton.

“So, this is beneficial in terms of the climate, it is beneficial for those people who want to convert their carbon-fuel powered car into an electric vehicle that is sustainable. At the same time it will help support the automotive industry and create jobs. Those jobs are in areas where we have had real issues, particularly with Brexit.”

The party also said it would make £3.6 billion available to build a network of electric vehicle charging points to kickstart its ‘green industrial revolution’.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow business secretary said: “Tackling the climate emergency provides an opportunity to upgrade our economy and way of life. Instead of driving old polluting cars, we want ordinary people to have the ability to drive new, clean and green cars.

“The air in our cities will be cleaner and the UK’s carbon emissions will be lower. Increased demand for electric cars will also give a much needed boost to our automobile industry, creating thousands of new jobs.”

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