The UK government has decided to cut the plug-in grant for more expensive electric cars. The move comes after some criticism for the last few years that the rich are essentially being offered a taxpayer subsidy for their electric Tesla, Merc of BMW, which often retails for 50K plus. The grant is now only applicable to vehicles that retail for under £35,000, such as the eCorsa, Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe etc.
There is a grant of £1500 available for about 20 electric motorcycles and mopeds which are cheaper than most electric cars, but primarily leisure toys. On the practical side, there is a 3K grant on a selection of smaller load electric vans, plus an 8K grant for bigger sized delivery vans like the Mercedes eSprinter or Renault Master ZE.
There is a full list of vehicles eligible here, on the UK Gov website.
The move seems to indicate that the government is more focussed on subsidising the expanding home delivery market, rather than offering real incentives to individuals looking to own or lease an electric car. Why? Well, the policy of abolishing private vehicle ownership completely in the name of air quality, is clearly stated by the World Economic Forum and most European governments are implementing policies now to bring about that supposed utopia over the next decade or so.
Any insurer or broker in the private vehicle insurance sector should note this aim and plan accordingly.
Commenting on the announcement that the plug-in car grant has unexpectedly been cut today, and will now only apply to lower-priced electric vehicles, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said:
“Ministers seem to talk-the-talk when it comes to encouraging people into cleaner vehicles, but cutting the plug-in car grant certainly isn’t walking the walk. While it’s understandable to focus grants on the affordable end of the market where there’s the best opportunity for greater take-up, the industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and incentives to get consumers to go green remain vital in encouraging the sale clean new cars. The extent to which drivers might delay upgrading their vehicles as a result of the economic effects of the coronavirus is also yet to be seen, which makes the timing of this announcement all the more surprising.
“Even though more models are coming on to the market, our research suggests upfront cost remains a concern to drivers when comparing the cost of an electric vehicle with a similarly sized conventional vehicle. By cutting the grant, the Government may risk people holding on to their older, more polluting vehicles for longer.”
SELECT CAR LEASING COMMENT;
“The plug-in car grant was first introduced in 2011 to boost the early adoption of electric vehicles. The cut is extremely concerning for those looking to purchase a family or more spacious car for their first EV. Electric technology is expensive and drivers need these grants from the government in order to afford the change from fuel cars to electric.”
“If we reduce our efforts for making electric technology affordable now, this sends the wrong message to drivers and could make many reconsider switching to electric. The decision to cut this grant is not in line with the Government’s ambitious transition to zero emission driving – we’re only at the beginning of transitioning to EV-only roads and this could be a big set back for the 2030 fuel ban.”
– Mark Tongue, Director at Select Car Leasing.