The plug-in grants are set to expire in March 2020, with no commitment from the Government to renew them. Currently, the Government will pay for 35% of the price of a car up to £3,500 and up to 20% of the asked van's price, capped at £8000.
The plug-in grant is a crucial component in the affordability of BEVs. The plug-in grant directly impacts the lease cost of a vehicle for both an individual or a company. British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association says that the fleet sector must act now to safeguard the plug-in car and van grants. These grants help bridge the price gap between electric vehicles and their petrol or diesel counterparts. BVRLA has set up a campaign page on its website to speed up the process.
BVRLA highlighted that:
- The grant reduces the cost of a typical leased EV by around 25% or £100 per month
- The cost of funding the grant is partially offset by the increased VAT returns obtained from more expensive EVs
- The grant plays a vital role in making the UK a more attractive market for manufacturers to sell EVs in
BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney, said: “BVRLA members have already put their customers into 90,000 plug-in vehicles. They and their colleagues across the fleet sector have already demonstrated their electric vehicle commitment and credentials (...) helping businesses and individuals across the country to make the leap to zero-emission motoring. Pulling the plug-in grant would destroy this momentum.”
Referencing the new plans to bring forward the petrol and diesel ban to 2035 and to also include hybrids in the ban, Keaney continued: "By setting these new decarbonisation targets, the Government is in danger of writing a cheque that the fleet sector cannot cash (...) Businesses are being asked to invest billions of pounds in new electric vehicles and infrastructure over a short timescale. Tax incentives are vital, but so are the plug-in grants. They need to be maintained in some form until at least 2025 if we are to deliver the transition that is required."