posted 10 months ago

Plug-In Car Grant Extended To Treble Uptake: New Terms For Buyers

Plug-in car grant extended to encourage motorists to pick eco-models. Plus grant rates, qualifying models and expert perspective.

The plug-in car grant that slashes the cost of environmentally friendly models has been extended to treble their numbers, the Government confirmed. The grant - that also relates to vans – will now run to March 2018 whereas it was due to expire in 2016.

From March 2016, there will be 2 rates that: “Ensure the funding is sustainable and focus financial support on the greenest vehicles”. Category 1 models that cover more than 70 miles without emitting carbon qualify for a £4,500 grant. In contrast, motorists that purchase Category 2/3 models that have a shorter, zero emission, range get £2,500 – but only for models that cost less than £60,000.

Scope and qualifying vehicles

The plug-in car grant launched in 2011 and 50,000 motorists have benefited so far. The extension is expected to help a further 100,000.

A qualifying vehicle is either fully electric, i.e. powered by a battery that is charged via a socket; plug-in hybrid, i.e. petrol/diesel engine teamed with battery the latter of which is charged by socket; or hydrogen.

Qualifying models include the: Nissan LEAF, Audi A3 e-tron, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, Kia Soul EV and Nissan e-NV200 (van). Drivers can also claim £500 from the electric vehicle home charging scheme to pay toward a fast charger. 

Grant a 'success'

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and the plug-in car grant has been key to that success”.

He continued: “We are determined to keep Britain at the forefront of the technology, increasing our support for plug-in vehicles to £600 million over the next 5 years to cut emissions, create jobs and support our cutting edge industries.”

Jim Wright, Nissan GB Managing Director, added: “Today’s decision by government has reaffirmed their commitment to the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles. With government support and Nissan’s investment of over £420 million into electric vehicles in the UK, our British made Nissan LEAF has increased in popularity with many UK customers already enjoying the benefits of zero emission and low cost driving.”

Incentive scheme 'needed'

Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said: “Manufacturers are offering increasing numbers of these vehicles – but a consistently applied incentive regime is still needed over the coming years to help consumers adopt these ground-breaking technologies.”

Mr Hawes continued: “The changes to the regime will need effective management and SMMT looks forward to working with government to ensure the planning needs of manufacturers and consumers – both fleet and private – are met.”