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UK: Electric van grant scheme: A good deal?

The government has come up with a list of the first electric vans eligible for a hefty subsidy under its new plug-in grant.

The scheme, which was first announced last month, means buyers can get 20% off the cost price of a new vehicle, up to a maximum of £8,000.

Sounds like a great deal? Well, that depends.

This scheme is actually an extension of the plug-in grant launched for ordinary domestic cars last year.

Under that scheme anyone buying from a list of eligible vehicles (they have to meet a list of criteria for safety, range and low emissions) can get up to £5,000 off the showroom price.

Yet despite the deal, take-up has been slow. Government figures show there were just 892 applications made for the plug-in grant in 2011, despite the fact that several big manufacturers launched new, electric models for the first time.

The bulk of those applications also came in the first quarter of the year, with the figure tailing off to just 106 for the final three months.



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