The Department for Transport (DfT) has today announced that the plug-in car grant has been scrapped, removing the £1,500 saving that buyers of electric vehicles under £32,000 could previously get.
It has been met with mixed reactions from industry leaders, too. But what do the changes mean and how will drivers be affected? Let’s take a look.
Why has the grant been scrapped?
The Government has removed the plug-in grant for cars in order to ‘refocus’ funding toward charging infrastructure while supporting the purchase of other road vehicles ‘where the switch to electric requires further development’.
I just ordered a new EV – will I still get the grant?
The Government has said that ‘all existing applications for the grant will continue to be honoured and where a car has been sold in the two working days before the announcement, but an application for the grant from dealerships has not yet been made, the sale will also still qualify for the grant.’
The grant was scrapped on Tuesday, June 14.
Do any vehicles still qualify for the grant?
Though cars no longer qualify for the grant, there are still a number of vehicles for which the grant can be applied. These are plug-in taxis, vans, trucks, motorcycles and wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Has there been any change to road tax on electric vehicles?
No. Drivers of electric vehicles still won’t have to pay any road tax, bringing down the cost of day-to-day motoring.
What has the Government said about the move?
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.”
And how has the industry reacted?
The industry has largely spoken out against the removal of the grant, with Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), saying: “The decision to close the Plug-in Car Grant is exceedingly disappointing as it will, without doubt, heavily disincentivise EV adoption across the UK and has the potential to derail the positive progress the automotive sector has made towards decarbonising transport.”
Meanwhile Nicholas Lyles, the RAC’s head of policy, said: “The UK’s adoption of electric cars is so far impressive but in order to make them accessible to everyone, we need prices to fall – having more on the road is one important way of making this happen, so we’re disappointed the Government has chosen to end the grant at this point. If costs remain too high, the ambition of getting most people into electric cars will be stifled.”