MITSUBISHI has had to delay the launch of an LPG version of its new Outlander model because a special environmental fund set up by the Government has run out of money.

Gas-powered cars qualify for a rebate of up to 70 per cent of the cost of converting vehicles to run on LPG under the Department of Transport’s Powershift scheme.

When Mitsubishi importer, Colt Car Company, went to register the Outlander for the fund it was told that there would be no more funding available until the new financial year starting in April.

Lance Bradley, sales and marketing director for CCC, said: "I think it is disgusting. We have a vehicle all ready for launch and our dealers ready to sell it, but we have had to delay the introduction.

"The Government keeps on at the car industry about emissions, then this happens. The Outlander LPG model is intended to compensate for the fact that we do not have a diesel engine option for customers who are looking for lower running costs."

CCC planned to introduce the LPG Outlander, which can run on gas or petrol, at just £1,000 more than the standard petrol model, recouping the rest of the cost through the Powershift scheme.

The full cost of the conversion is more than £2,000.

The Department of Transport said it was having to review Powershift funding in an announcement two weeks ago, a move which mainly affects new LPG vehicles in the short term.

Published : 04/12/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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