Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/27/uk_govt_ev_plan/

UK Govt to spend £100m on three-city electric car trial

Tax breaks for EVs a better use of taxpayers' money?

By Alun Taylor

Posted in Science, 27th October 2008 08:08 GMT

'Leccy Tech On a slightly smaller scale than the planned 'leccy infrastructure roll out Down Under, the British Government will this week announce it is planning to fork out £100m in order to test electric cars and vans in three cities.

Details are vague at the moment, but the idea seems to be to invite tenders from car makers to supply vehicles which will be run for a certain period of time in order to gather real-world usage data with a view to something else happening sometime in the future, the BBC reports.

As we suspect most of the information gathered from drivers will be variations on the theme of 'there aren't enough places to charge the things', we are struggling to see how a limited-scope, three-city trial costing £100m which will produce results that many will regard as bleedin' obvious represents value for the tax payer.

Announcing the Vauxhall Chevy Volt will be sold VAT-free come 2010 or investing in some sort of domestic and commercial re-charge infrastructure would seem a more practical use of the cash and - perhaps more importantly - would be a use that would have a guaranteed tangible end result.

If the Government still want a real-world test maybe BMW could be persuaded to ship a few of those 500 Mini Es our way so they could be leased to urban GPs or Plod. That shouldn't cost 100 big ones.

Presumably the move is part and parcel of the Government's - hopelessly? - optimistic plans to cut the nation's greenhouse gas output by 80 per cent by the year 2050.

More details as and when they are released.