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WHITE van man is going green. Not because those armies of builders and plumbers have become treehuggers.

No fear of that.

It's because this week the Government announced that it will effectively give a third off the price of electric vans.

As well as knocking five grand off plug-in cars, electric vans now qualify for a 20 per cent subsidy, up to pounds 8,000. But here's the thing.

If your firm is VAT registered, you can claw back a further 20 per cent VAT from the purchase price.

Renault, which has wisely bet the farm on its range of electric cars and vans, will sell you an all-electric Kangoo ZE, which will do 106 miles on one charge, has an 81mph top speed and can be fast-charged in half-an-hour.

The list price is pounds 21,038, but after your 20 per cent subsidy and VAT rebate, it comes down to a thrifty pounds 14,133, making the Kangoo the cheapest usable electric van in the world.

The country's grafters won't have to pay any road tax or congestion charge and they will get free parking in some cities, plus travelling 100 miles will cost them a mere pounds 1.25 in electricity.

For you and me this means cleaner towns, better air to breathe and maybe a new, considerate generation of white van men, who go tooling around in perfect silence.

As the bloke fixes your washing machine and uses the kettle to make a cuppa, he'll ask: "Mind if I plug in my van, love?" The nation's tradesmen will never be the same again.

WHO'D DRIVE IT Green van man TECH FILE ENGINE: 44kW electric motor POWER: 60hp MAX: 81mph RANGE: 106 miles PRICE: pounds 14,133 IN A WORD: Job done Half an hour fast charge, 6-8 hours standard charge
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 22, 2012
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