Critics slam UK government's electric-cars plan

The UK government came has come in for criticism as soon as it announced plans to reduce the carbon footprint in the UK by offering British motorists subsidies between £2,000 and £5,000 to buy electric or plug-in hybrid cars from 2011 onwards.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson and Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon said that the government has earmarked £250 million ($375 million) in subsidies for electric cars and another £20 million for a nationwide network of charging stations to promote green technology and the plan will be implemented from 2011for five years.

With Britain having an estimated 26 million cars, this plan is aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the UK. Currently, less than 0.1 per cent of the cars in the country are electric.

Last week, the London Mayor Boris Johnson announced plans to make London the 'electric car capital of Europe', as Johnson intends to have 100,000 electric cars in London with about 25,000 charging points spread all over the city by 2015. (See: London to become the 'electric car' capital of Europe)

The total cost of implementing this scheme would cost about £60 million and the mayor also wants to convert at least 1,000 government utility vehicles to electric by 2015.

Lord Mandelson and Hoon, made this announcement at a racing circuit in Fife, where they test drove the BMW electric Mini E. Hoon said that the plan would give option for motorists as well as help to make the UK a global leader in low-carbon transport.