Government announces end of plug-in car grant after boosting EV sales in UK
Ending the grant will allow the Government to move their focus towards expanding the network for public charging, giving more attention to electric taxis, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and wheelchair accessible vehicles.
The Government have announced an end to the plug-in car grant on Tuesday 14 June for new orders, after succeeding their goal of boosting electric car sales in the UK.
The announcement comes after the scheme’s success in taking EV sales from just 1,000 in 2011 to almost 100,000 by the first half of 2022.
The scheme was launched in 2011 in a bid to boost the electric vehicle market, offering motorists the chance to claim a maximum discount of £1,500 from the cost of a new electric or hybrid vehicle under £32,000.
The Government was clear that the scheme would remain temporary, and with battery and hybrid electric vehicles now making up more than half of all new cars sold with a 70% rise in fully electric car sales, the focus will now turn towards improving other sectors within the automotive industry.
Sectors include electric taxis, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and wheelchair accessible vehicles, which the UK will extend plug-in grants towards in order to boost sales using a £300 million fund.
Funding will also be reallocated towards improving access to public charging, which while it has seen a continuous improvement will require further work needed to support its development.
In a bid to eradicate “range anxiety” among EV motorists, the Government has pledged a fund of £1.6 billion to expand the UK’s public charging network.
Existing applications for the grant will still be honoured, including those made 2 working days before the announcement was made, and where an application for the grant from dealerships has not yet been made, the sale will still qualify. Drivers of electric cars will still be able to benefit from existing incentives in the UK, such as lower running costs overall, zero road tax and favourable company car tax rates, which could save drivers over £2,000 a year compared to traditionally powered vehicles.They can also expect to benefit from more public charging points, as the Government continues to work towards a goal of installing 10 times more chargers on streets by 2030.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said:
“The government continues to invest record amounts in the transition to EVs, with £2.5 billion injected since 2020, and has set the most ambitious phase-out dates for new diesel and petrol sales of any major country. But government funding must always be invested where it has the highest impact if that success story is to continue.
Having successfully kickstarted the electric car market, we now want to use plug-in grants to match that success across other vehicle types, from taxis to delivery vans and everything in between, to help make the switch to zero emission travel cheaper and easier.
With billions of both government and industry investment continuing to be pumped into the UK’s electric revolution, the sale of electric vehicles is soaring.
We are continuing to lead the way in decarbonising transport, with generous government incentives still in place, while creating high-skilled jobs and cleaner air across the UK.” The Government’s support throughout the scheme has helped sales to exceed projections, with 39,000 new electric car registrations in March 2022- more than the whole of 2019.
Since the scheme began in 2011, the Government has provided £1.4 billion to support the purchase of nearly half a million vehicles.
A public evaluation report released on Tuesday showed that while the plug-in car grant was successful in helping to develop the market, it now has less of an effect on demand, while other incentives such as company car tax continue to have an impact.
It also suggested that the plug-in van market will benefit from the grant and will help support businesses in making the switch.