Nissan offered free UK taxi rides to boost EV adoption

When it comes to electric-vehicle subsidies in the UK, the government is selling but the public isn't buying. British ministers are saying that a two-year-old program that funds 5,000 British pounds ($7,850) worth of subsidies to buyers of electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf will be shrunken and eventually phased out after demand turned out to be quite a bit less than expected, UK's Daily Mail reports.

About a third of the 30 million British pounds the government planned to make available for the EV subsidies has been spent, even with public and private entities deploying about 1,600 electric-vehicle charging stations throughout the UK. Doing the math, the approximately 11 million British pounds spent would imply about 2,200 people taking the government up on its subsidy. That's a pretty low number considering that Nissan sold a monthly-record 2,420 Leaf EVs in the US just last month alone.

That's not to say the UK is abandoning support for electric-drive powertrains altogether. The government still says it'll invest 500 million British pounds between 2015 and 2020 to advance electric-drive technology. The UK's EV subsidy program went live in January 2011.