Blog: Switching on the green deal

So 2013 is underway and so too is our move to green cars. The much talked about transition to electric and hybrid vehicles really seems to be happening according to […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

So 2013 is underway and so too is our move to green cars. The much talked about transition to electric and hybrid vehicles really seems to be happening according to the latest figures released at the end of December.

If you bought or were lucky enough to be presented with a green vehicle, then you were one of nearly 28,000 people registered with an alternatively-fuelled car in 2012, a big increase on the year before. Now, 28,000 may still only be a tiny fraction out of the two million new cars to hit the roads across Britain last year but it shows the public are buying them.

But why? Has the wettest summer ever suddenly kicked us into thinking climate change is happening and a green and sustainable future will save us? Or was it just the desire to have a fancy car with a new design, something different from the majority?

Perhaps it was simply an increase in awareness. Let’s face it the more we see of something either on TV, radio or online there’s a subconscious effect. Lots of EV adverts, programmes, social chit chat and bingo: sales go up.

That got me thinking. This year will also be big for the Government’s Green Deal. It too is supposed to help us to a sustainable future. It’s actually a pretty good offering for many businesses and individuals so where’s the chat about this? Where’s the adverts and social media campaigns? Celeb endorsements or news items?

Err…. nothing doing. I attended a press briefing yesterday launching the details of a sweetener to help householders get the most from it (the actual details are embargoed till Monday) which would certainly boost take up.  But I doubt it’ll get the public stirring.  A survey I came across a few weeks ago showed most people don’t even know the Green Deal exists and it’s supposed to start financing in two weeks’ time!

The Government needs to advertise the Green Deal in a way that is appealing to the masses. We need to know what it does, how it can help with finances. Businesses and consumers should be rushing to sign up to the scheme that will help save money but how can they if they don’t know such a scheme exists?

It’s believed 2013 will be an even better year for alternatively-fuelled cars; let’s just hope the Coalition can kick start the engine of the Green Deal otherwise it’ll end up in the garage wasting away.