Car scrappage scheme boost for environment too
Today’s news of an extra £100 million for the Government’s vehicle scrappage scheme will bring the total budget to £400 million, covering up to 400,000 vehicles. This new stimulus is vital. Today’s GDP growth figures show the economy is still extremely fragile. As TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said today, “Any halt in economic stimulus – or even worse, cuts in spending in a premature effort to close the deficit – could easily send us into another downwards spiral.”
There’s a double dividend here – the scrappage scheme has boosted UK car production and put us on track to meet the EU target for vehicle CO2 emissions of 130g/km of CO2 by 2012. That’s the verdict of Clean Green Cars, which found that average new car CO2 fell by 5.5% in the first nine months of 2009. For nerds, this is from an average of 159.31g/km in September 2008 to 150.56g/km in September 2009.
Though our emissions per kilometre are still too high, this rate of improvement puts the UK on track to meet the 130g/km average ahead of the 2012 deadline. Toyota has apparently already dropped below the threshold with an average of 129.2g/km.
The January 2009 rescue package included £1 billion for research and development for green car production. Together with the £250 million set aside for low carbon vehicle innovation (part of the Heathrow announcement) and the £100 million package of green car initiatives announced in autumn 2008, the Government has allocated around £1.4 billion for low carbon vehicle development. Nissan’s new electric vehicle battery plant in the North East is likely to create 300 jobs when built. So the message is clear – the green stimulus is working for a low carbon economic recovery.