National Grid Plc's CEO Steve Holliday says that electric cars will comprise 20 percent of U.K. auto sales by 2016 as drivers benefit from lower fuel costs and government subsidies.
Holliday says its base scenario has a million electric cars running in 2020, meaning that about one in five of all cars sold in the U.K. from 2016 will be electric. The U.K. uses subsidies to promote electric vehicles to lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Motorists will get as much as GBP5,000 ($7,795) from January 2011 if they buy an electric or plug-in hybrid car.
Mitsubishi Motor Corp.'s iMiEV and Nissan Motor Co.'s LEAF will be the first two electric cars to be sold in the U.K. in the next few weeks, according to Colin Couchman, an analyst with consultant IHS Automotive.
Priced at about GBP29,000 each, these cars can be charged using a regular household plug. As much as GBP8.8 million has been set aside to support the development of a national recharging network, meant to boost the number of roadside plug-in points to 11,000 by 2013 from about the current 300. [via autonews - sub. required]