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Unpopular Electric Car Program May Fail to Use Up Funds

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The government's program to subsidize electric car purchases has only attracted 17 applications, nine of which were accepted, while having enough funds to support 500 buyers.

The program, which gives buyers a discount of up to 50 percent on the total cost of a fully electric car, is financed by the government's sale of 10 million carbon dioxide credits to Mitsubishi last year.

However, it seems unlikely that the funds for the grant scheme, up to 18,000 euros per purchase, will be spent by November 2012 deadline.

So far, potential consumers have been discouraged by high prices, lack of information about the performance of the electric cars in winter conditions and a small choice of available vehicles, a government press release said. On Monday, KredEx, the agency responsible for the program, announced it will add several new models to the list of vehicles that qualify for the grant.

Currently, there are four models, including the Mitsubishi, Citroen, Peugeot and Valmet. In coming months, a minivan and another small and slow vehicle produced by Polaris and recommended for use on small islands will also be included.


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