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Almost 100,000 electric vehicles are expected to hit the roads in Britain in 2020, in a significant step towards the UK’s goal of driving down carbon emissions by the end of the decade.

The government last week announced plans to offer electric car users for free the associated charges on public transport provided by public authorities such as the London Underground. The move will save customers £1.5bn annually, the government said.

But Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, a motoring think-tank, said the government should go further to achieve its target.

He said a government tax cut for drivers of electric cars would help to persuade people to buy more of the technology, but the government should also cut VAT on the purchase of many model electric cars from the current 25 per cent rate to 17.5 per cent.

The UK government also said on Thursday it would publish in the next few weeks a review of free access to cycle lanes.

Julie Skinner, a policy director at the Cyclists’ Network, welcomed the government decision to commission the review but said more should be done to promote cycling.

The government has proposed tax incentives for electric cars that match those offered to those buying petrol- or diesel-fueled vehicles.