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UK needs more ambitious electric car grant scheme-MPs

* Programme to subsidise uptake of plug-in vehicles not working-Select Committee

* Sales of electric cars disappointing

* Lack of certainty over number of charging points

By Nina Chestney

LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Britain needs a more ambitious programme to encourage the uptake of low-carbon vehicles, as sales of the cars have disappointed, a committee made up of UK Members of Parliament said on Thursday.

As part of its aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, the government has offered 25 percent off the price of a plug-in electric car capped at 5,000 pounds.

Plug-in cars, such as the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf , Toyota Prius and Vauxhall Ampera, typically cost in excess of 20,000 pounds ($32,500).

The government expects to see tens of thousands of plug-in vehicles, which have a longer driving range than all-electric vehicles but which still need to be charged, on the roads by 2015, but demand has been weak, said a report by the Transport Select Committee.

In 2011, 1,052 vehicles eligible for the plug-in car grant were registered. The committee said consumer demand was lagging behind and that the subsidy was ineffective because the purchase price was still too high.


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