Green car sales stuck in first gear

Green car sales stuck in first gear

Government attempts to encourage motorists to go green when buying a car seem to be stumbling.

A poll by Auto Trader found just 1% of UK drivers own an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV), despite the availability of grants that provide £5,000 relief in terms of upfront cost.

The lack of support might be partly explained by results from the survey which reveal more than a third of drivers (35%) are unaware of the grant.

However, it seems the Government will have to do more than increase the advertising budget to spark motorists into developing a green conscience, as the survey found that CO2 emissions are at the bottom of the list of priorities when Britons are making a decision on a new car purchase.

And it seems price is still a crucial issue for those considering the purchase of an electric car as 79% think the Government should be doing more to make them more affordable, while the vast majority (89%) would like their vehicle to be more environmentally friendly - but only if it does not cost any extra.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "The introduction of the electric car was always going to be a gradual process due to a number of factors such as price, availability and access to the infrastructure necessary to run alternately fuelled vehicles, or AFVs, all of which are improving every year.

"In fact UK electric car sales jumped by 25% in the third quarter of this year to a record high which is a significant step forward, although it is clear the Government's electric grant scheme has not sparked take-up in electric vehicles as much as it had been hoped.

"It's important to focus on the long-term objective of increasing the number of AFVs on the road to help cut emissions and we are hoping the trend we have seen in sales in Q3 continues and even accelerates in the coming months to the point where these vehicle become far more commonplace on the nation's roads."

Copyright Press Association 2013