Coherent incentives needed for electric vehicles

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The EU targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions are being jeopardised by the absence of harmonised incentives to consumers, a seminar in Brussels was told by Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

This lack of co-ordination could cause European industry to lose its lead, he said. “European car manufacturers are facing a very difficult challenge when CO2 legislation requiring electrified cars are implemented without initiatives that make these cars affordable for a growing number of consumers.”

In 2011, fewer than 50,000 battery electric vehicles were sold in the world, equivalent to a market share of about 0.1 per cent. The figure suggests that the car market will continue to be dominated by traditional combustion-engine models for the foreseeable future.

“It is far too early to dismiss the conventional diesel and petrol power trains. We continuously improve their efficiency. In the last two years, Volvo has brought CO2 emissions from our diesel and petrol model ranges down by 13 per cent,” said Mr Jacoby.

Volvo is one of the major brands without a hybrid or electric vehicle. It finds itself seeing the French and Japanese making what headway there is. Peugeot has a sub 100g/km version of the 508 saloon on the way. The 200bhp HYbrid 4 diesel-electric hybrid arrives in July and couples an official 78.5mpg with 10 per cent BIK and 100 per cent write down in year one for businesses. It costs £31,450. It is preceded in May by the RXH estate, costing £33,695 and rated at 107g/km CO2, 68.9mpg, 12 per cent BIK and maximum write down in year one.