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Government Cuts Electric Vehicle Plug-in Grant

electric van with charger

The government announced today that they are changing the plug-in grant scheme for new electric vehicles.

Both cars and vans will be affected, with the grant being reduced across the board.

For cars, the grant has dropped from a maximum of £2,500 to £1,500 for a zero-emission vehicle that has a recommended retail price of £32,000 or less.

With respect to vans, the change has seen a reduction in the grant for 2.5t vehicles to £2,500 from £3,000, and a reduction for 3.5t vans from £6,000 to £5,000.

Over 3.5t, the grant remains the same.

The new terms come into effect from 7am today (15th December). Any grant claims made before the 15th December will be paid out at the old rate.

Transport Minister, Trudy Harrison, explained: “The market is charging ahead in the switch to electric vehicles. This, together with the increasing choice of new vehicles and growing demand from customers, means that we are refocusing our vehicle grants on the more affordable vehicles and reducing grant rates to allow more people to benefit, and enable taxpayers’ money to go further.

“We want as many people as possible to be able to make the switch to an electric vehicle, which is why we will also be introducing new rules to make it easier to find and pay at chargepoints.

“This will ensure drivers have confidence in our charging infrastructure, as we look to reduce our carbon emissions, create green jobs and level up right across the UK.”

This has been met with some concern amongst manufacturers and driving associations. Vauxhall, in their press release, said that:

“Today’s changes provide a confusing message to UK consumers and will harm EV adoption at a time when we need to be doing all we possibly can if we are to stand a chance to move the UK to electrified only vehicles by 2030.

Whilst we understand the government’s desire to phase out the plug-in vehicle grant at some point, we really need to see a more strategic, longer-term approach.  A lack of clarity and certainty for customers can only harm EV adoption and leave the UK lagging behind other countries in the race to decarbonise personal transport.”

Vauxhall, like many vehicle manufacturers, have committed to switching completely to fully electric vans before the government deadline of 2035. They believe further work is needed on incentives to encourage movement to electric vehicles.

You can read the full government statement here.