What is a plug-in Van Grant?
You can get a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vans through a grant the government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. Plug-in grant is designed to promote the uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.
You do not need to do anything if you want to buy one of these vans - the dealer will include the value of the grant in the vehicle’s price.
The grant available is 20% of the asked price, capped at £8000.
The discount applies to commercial vehicles with a plug, including both hybrid and full-electric vans as long as they meet a number of rules.
To qualify, the vehicle must be within the N1, N2 or N3 categories:
Category N1: having a maximum mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (7,700 lb)
Category N2: having a maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes (26,000 lb)
Category N3: having a maximum mass exceeding 12 tonnes
To be eligible for the grant applicants need to demonstrate that their completed vehicle (chassis and bodywork) has type approval, meets minimum EC regulatory standards for volume production and meets the grant criteria.
Please note that vehicles which have already received the plug-in van grant will not be eligible for enhanced capital allowances. Enhanced capital allowances are tax allowances that help businesses to invest in energy-efficient products.
Eligibility criteria for the plug-in van grant
Only new vans are eligible (vehicle category N1, N2 or N3). This includes pre-registration conversions (normal, internal combustion engine vans that were converted to battery or hybrid versions by specialist convertors before the van’s first registration).
Note that for the purposes of the plug-in van grant any multi-stage built N1, N2 or N3 vehicle will need to have been approved as a completed vehicle (eg comprising both chassis and bodywork). The accepted evidence listed above must cover the vehicle in its finished condition. An approval for a vehicle that has not been completed will not be accepted. This is to ensure vehicles driven off the forecourt when bought by the public meet the plug-in van grant criteria.
Manufacturers will need to consult the Vehicle Certification Agency to obtain completed vehicle approval.
Carbon dioxide exhaust emissions
Vehicles must emit less than 75 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre driven or, For N2 and N3 vehicles, certificate to show the vehicle produces at least 50% less greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) than an equivalent conventional Euro VI vehicle of the same load carrying capacity as measured by the LowCVP HGV test procedure.
Eligible fully electric vans must be able to travel a minimum of 60 miles between charges. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles must have a minimum electric range of 10 miles.
Minimum top speed
Vehicles must be able to reach a speed of 50 miles per hour or more.
Vehicles must have a 3 year or 60,000 miles vehicle warranty (guarantee) and a 3 year battery and electric drive train warranty, with the option of extending the battery warranty for an extra 2 years. ‘Drive train’ means the parts that send power from the engine to the wheels. These include the clutch, transmission (gear box), drive shafts, U-joints and differential.
Vehicles must have either a minimum 5-year warranty on the battery and electric drive train as standard or extra evidence of battery performance to show reasonable performance after 3 years of use.
Vehicles must comply with certain regulations (UN-ECE Reg 100.00) that show that they are electrically safe. or For N2 and N3 vehicles approved to NSSTA or IVA, evidence submitted by the applicant to show equivalent electrical safety performance to that required by UNECE Regulation 100.02.
To make sure vans will be safe in a crash, they must either have a minimum EC regulatory standards for volume production or evidence that the van demonstrates high levels of safety as judged by international standards. For example, crash testing for other internationally recognised consumer information programmes or regulatory standards, that offer a comparable level of safety stringency as EC minimum regulatory standards for volume production.
The incentive is good for those wanting a cleaner, greener car at a lower cost. But if buying outright is not in budget, then consider affordable contract hire and commercial van leasing options instead.