Three years to get your £5k subsidy on zero emmission vans

Van drivers – do you want to put £5k back to your bottom line and contribute to saving the planet at the same time? That’s on top of cheap fuel costs and probable savings on your current van insurance policy – talk about a no brainer!

Although the subsidy for buying electric cars has been in place in the UK, Norman Baker confirmed yesterday that the sizeable grant will also be extended to electric vans, too, and that you’ll have until 2015 to take advantage, so don’t worry if you’ve just invested in a new van and its subsequent van insurance; you’ve got plenty of time.

In a statement in Gateshead yesterday, the Transport Minister reflected on the ‘real shift’ being seen in the UK automotive industry, dropping carbon emmissions to achieve targets seet by the EU in timely fashion.

His visit to the Gateshead Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation was a real insight for the member of parliament and confirmation that electric power and other sustainable fuel sources are a very real prospect in this government’s term of occupation of number ten, not just a pipe dream.

Take up has been slow for electric power

It was no coincidence that the Minister for Transport held the conference where he did. The performance track upon which Norman Baker was invited to ride around in a Smith-Edison van runs adjacent to the Nissan plant and in a region that now has 300 electric ‘pumps’ ready for when the initiative does catch on as more people sign up to electric driving in the future.

Figures must improve, though, to make the investment in the elecric outlets viable and maintainable. To date, fewer than 1,000 applied for the grant last year; Mr Baker acknowledged this, yet asked the manufacturers to plough on until a boomtime arrives.

So far, almost all of the European car manufacturers have released plans for electric vans, Renault already have the production line ready and working. The French manufacturer has predicted that 10% of all vehicles on UK roads will be electric powered within five years – that’s a bold statement and, if it transpires, fleet and van insurers will have to do some pretty nifty calculations to make their budgets reflect the marketplace, otherwise those not driving electric may see the revenue lost for the cheaper van insurance these models attract (Renault maintain ownership of the battery, making it their responsibility – you just lease it from them, even though the shell is yours) passed back to drivers still running on fossil fuel.

One thing’s for certain, and that’s the fact that the electric market’s future is uncertain. With such a great package from the government yet so few takers, what is it that we’re not seeing here?

If you’re interested in converting to a renewable fuel model and dropping a shoe-size in your carbon footprint, compare van insurance prices here, on

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