UK Government Initiatives Aim to Stimulate Electric Vehicle Industry

Two innovative initiatives aimed at encouraging the use of electric vehicles on British roads have been announced recently by the UK Government. These initiatives could benefit customers for Valence Technology’s advanced lithium ion propulsion solutions.

Announced by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, the first initiative is a tax break allowing purchasers of electric vans to waive certain taxes in their first year on the road. Valence customers such as Smith Electric Vehicles and Paneltex produce vans of the type identified in the Chancellor’s announcement.

The second initiative stems from a UK Government-established Green Bus Fund created to incentivize the manufacturing and sales of low-carbon buses across the country. Bus route operators were recently awarded with these new government funds to purchase electric buses, helping reduce the carbon footprint across the country.

Before orders are placed with the bus manufacturers, individual bus operators will be finalizing route selections and determining their respective transportation needs. Original route operator funding requests included buses from several manufacturers, including two Valence customers, Wrightbus of Northern Ireland, and Optare, based in Blackburn and Leeds in England. According to the UK Department of Transport, buses under this initiative will start to operate by the summer of 2010.

Robert L. Kanode, president & CEO of Valence Technology commented, “We have been active in the light commercial and bus market for many years. The success of our client’s efforts with these latest initiatives endorses Valence technology as a key player in the growing acceptance of electrically powered vehicles by the motive market. We look forward to continuing our efforts to provide environmentally acceptable alternative solutions to the motive markets.”

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