Electric vans grant scheme unveiled

A Government grant for drivers who buy electric cars is being extended to seven van models, it has been announced.

The offer aims to encourage green motoring by giving buyers a subsidy of 20% towards the cost of their new plug-in vehicle.

This could mean savings of up to £8,000 per electric van, including vehicles from mainstream manufacturers such as Renault and Ford.

Other benefits of electric vans include lower refuelling costs, exemption from the van benefit charge and capital allowance concessions.

The vehicles can also enter London's congestion charge zone for free if they meet certain requirements, creating another significant saving over diesel models.

Vans eligible for the grant include the Azure Dynamics Ford Transit Connect Electric and the Daimler Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell.

Renault's Kangoo ZE is also eligible, including the variants Kangoo VAN ZE, Kangoo Van Maxi ZE, and Kangoo Van Maxi Crew ZE.

Vans from smaller manufacturers will also benefit from the scheme: Faam's ECOMILE and JOLLY 2000, Mia-electric's Mia U and Smith Electric's Smith Edison variants SE2 and SE3.

The launch of the grant was supported by a number of major companies including British Gas and BT.

Ellen MacArthur, whose charity the Ellen MacArthur Foundation also backs the grant, welcomed the latest announcement.

She said: "We've been running a Renault electric van to help with the work of my foundation and it's working really well for us.

"Today's announcement means people will have more choice about the kinds of vans that they can drive and I am pleased to support this initiative."

Copyright Press Association 2012