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Electric car scheme faltering

The Coalition government allocated £400 million to a scheme that was meant to get more motorists to opt to buy an electric vehicle by offering subsidies of £5,000 per vehicle.

But in the last three months only 215 cars have been bought under the scheme, and of that number it is understood that three-quarters were purchased by businesses, leaving just 50 electric vehicles bought by private individuals under the scheme.

'The figures show the mountain we have to climb if the national car fleet of 28 million vehicles is to turn truly green, said Professor Stephen Glaister of the RAC Foundation.

'Even with the grants, electric cars are still much more expensive than similar-sized petrol and diesel models.

Despite the lower fuel costs associated with electric cars, the high purchase price means it will take owners several years to reap the financial benefits of not choosing fossil-fuel powered vehicles. '

But a spokesperson from the Department of Transport defended the programme in the face of growing apathy and indifference of the British public, saying: 'We are committed to supporting the early market for low emission vehicles in the UK – they are essential in making reductions in CO2 emissions from road transport. We can’t turn our back on the automotive sector that adds around £11 billion a year to the UK economy.'

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