The UK government has ended the Plug-In grant, the cash subsidy for wealthy people, which assisted the purchase of battery powered cars. There is still a small grant for taxis, wheelchair friendly vehicles, motorcycles and light trucks though. The main driver of policy now seems to be the organised inflation of petrol and diesel prices, to `modify’ the behaviour of UK drivers. Here’s the word;
The government is today (14 June 2022) closing the plug-in car grant scheme to new orders after successfully kickstarting the UK’s electric car revolution and supporting the sale of nearly half a million electric cars. The scheme has succeeded in creating a mature market for ultra-low emission vehicles, (tailpipe only, not production and disposal/recycling) helping to increase the sales of fully electric cars from less than 1,000 in 2011 to almost 100,000 in the first 5 months of 2022 alone.
Battery and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) now make up more than half of all new cars sold and fully electric car sales have risen by 70% in the last year, now representing 1 in 6 new cars joining UK roads.
Sara Newell, car insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “With the average price of filling a family car with petrol exceeding £100 for the first time and the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles on the horizon, it’s no surprise that MoneySuperMarket’s research shows that drivers are willing to pay over £2,000 more for vehicles with a greener emissions rating.”
The government has always been clear the plug-in car grant was temporary and previously confirmed funding until 2022-23. Successive reductions in the size of the grant, and the number of models it covers, have had little effect on rapidly accelerating sales or on the continuously growing range of models being manufactured.
CASH FOR PUBLIC CHARGING POINTS
Due to this, the government is now refocusing funding towards the main barriers to the EV transition, including public charging and supporting the purchase of other road vehicles where the switch to electric requires further development.
To continue the government’s drive towards net zero and ensure effective use of taxpayer funds, £300 million in grant funding will now be refocused towards extending plug-in grants to boost sales of plug-in taxis, motorcycles, vans and trucks and wheelchair accessible vehicles, as announced in the autumn statement.
The shift in focus will also help allow government funding to target expanding the public chargepoint network, helping to eradicate “range anxiety” and ensure the transition to zero-emission transport is easy and convenient for all drivers across the UK. The government has already committed £1.6 billion to building the UK’s public chargepoint network.
Significant savings in running costs for electric cars compared to petrol or diesel equivalents can often exceed the current £1,500 value of the grant, and electric car drivers will continue to benefit from generous incentives including zero road tax and favourable company car tax rates, which can save drivers over £2,000 a year.
All existing applications for the grant will continue to be honoured and where a car has been sold in the 2 working days before the announcement, but an application for the grant from dealerships has not yet been made, the sale will also still qualify for the grant.