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Electric minibuses set for UK debut
The United Kingdom could soon see an influx of small-scale electric people-movers from the continent, as a Franco-German car maker is expected to release the energy-efficient vehicles as a transportation solution for urban areas such as London.
The company, mia electric, has been scheduled to debut its mini-buses at the EcoVelocity motor show at London's Battersea Power Station in just three weeks' time. The company then hopes to give the cars a full UK launch sometime in 2012, according to Greenwise Business.
"The mia has been designed with cities like London firmly in mind and we consider the UK as a priority market for us (alongside France and Germany)," said Richard Deslandes, Head of UK sales at mia.
In preparation for the British invasion of mia microbuses, the car maker has ramped up production in recent months, with a projected 4,000 electric cars set to roll off its assembly line in Cerizay in Western France. After the UK debut next year, mia plans for a total production of 14,000 during 2012.
Sales have already been strong after the microbuses made their continental debut, according to Deslandes.
"We've been overwhelmed by the response we've received since we launched in Geneva and now have 3,000 confirmed orders," he said.
Electric cars have already been touted as a way to save at the pump, but the UK Government is also planning to tempt potential buyers with its own incentives. Each mia car purchase will qualify for a £5,000 subsidy and owners will be able to avoid paying London's congestion charge.