Government cuts plug-in grant for electric cars

12 March 2020

The plug-in grant for certain electric vehicles (EVs) has been cut with immediate effect from midnight 11th of March 2020.

It's the third time the grant has been reduced by the government since 2011

The grant, which has been available since 2011 and helped more than 200,000 Britons buy low-emission cars, was due to expire at the end of March 2020.  When it launched nine years ago, it offered to pay £5,000 toward the price of a new electric car to reward early adopters of green vehicles. This was subsequently reduced to £4,500 and again scaled further down in October 2018 to £3,500 as the government looked to curtail the incentive.  

What changes to plug-in car grant have been decided?

The value of the grant for the electric cars has been reduced by £500 to £3,000 , and models costing more than £50,000 will be ineligible, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) have confirmed. A fresh investment of £403 million to keep the cost of electric cars low has been announced at the same time, which means that the plug-in grant for electric cars will be still available to at least 2023. 

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles said: 'As the uptake of zero-emission cars increases, a small reduction to the grant, as well as excluding cars costing £50,000 or more will allow more drivers to benefit from making the switch for longer. 

What about the plug-in grant for vans?

Plug-in grants for electric vans (up to £8,000), large vans and trucks (up to £20,000), taxis (up to £7,500) and motorbikes (up to £1,500) remain at the same level with a further £129.5million to be invested into the extension of the plug-in grants for these vehicles - also to 2023.

Are these rates guaranteed?

The rates of all of the plug-in vehicle grants are 'subject to review over time, depending on how the market develops', the DfT and OLEV says. 

It's not all bad news - more rapid charging hubs across the UK

The government also pledged a £500million investment for the installation of rapid charging hubs across the country so drivers could replenish the batteries in their electric cars as quickly as possible. 

Nicola Shaw, UK executive director for National Grid, said: 'By investing today in the electricity infrastructure that will support the charging hubs of tomorrow, the government can help fast-track the take-up of EVs, cutting carbon and improving air quality for communities the length and breadth of the country.' 

 



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