The UK Government's Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon announced this week that motorists will be offered subsidies of between £2,000 and £5,000 to encourage them to buy electric or plug-in hybrid cars from 2011.
In his announcement Hoon highlighted that there was huge potential to reduce emissions because less than 0.1 percent of the UK's 26 million cars are electric.
The subsidy scheme is part of the government's £250 million plan to promote low carbon transport over the next five years. The funding is only to be made available for electric and plug-in petrol-electric hybrids.
The strategy, which includes plans to provide £20m for charging points and much needed infrastructure requirements, has already been criticized by the environmental lobby on the grounds that it will not reduce the UK's dependence on carbon-based fuels because the power feeding the charging points will mainly come from coal- or gas-fired power stations.
However, that does not need to be the case. This week a new electric vehicle battery recharging station in a high-traffic area in Frankfurt, Germany has begun to use Solar panels manufactured by Evergreen Solar.
The solar 'fuel' station initially is providing free battery charging for small-scale electric vehicles including Velotaxis, Segways, electric bikes and scooters. The station contains six charging ports all of which receive their power from the Evergreen Solar panels located on the building's roof. The installation is located in a major shopping district allowing people to power their vehicles while they shop.
The recharging station aims to generate enough electricity annually to power 115,000 kilometers of travel for the average e-scooter.
Now if the UK Government really had a coordinated approach to power management it would also be announcing incentives to ensure that solar panel installations are subsidized too.
I don't think will not hold my breath on that one.