The government recently announced that the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) was to be scrapped for new plug-in hybrids from 9th November, while discounts on 100% electric cars will be reduced from £4,500 to £3,500. The grant limits have been reached early, meaning that the reduction in funding for new electric cars will be in place from 21st October. The scheme has been in place since 2011 to encourage the sale of greener cars and help meet emissions targets.
The 22% reduction in grant value for the cleanest cars reflected “recent reductions in the price of electric vehicles”, the DfT claimed.
It has also only committed to fund the "next 35,000 of the cleanest vehicles", according to the official announcement, suggesting that rush to cash-in on the current ULEV grant rates could prompt and earlier adoption of the cuts.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The reduction of the plug-in car grant is a major blow to anyone hoping to go green with their next vehicle choice and makes little sense when we need to focus our efforts on lowering emissions from vehicles. Of particular concern, some popular zero emission capable plug-in hybrid models will lose their plug-in car grant altogether.”
Lyes said that up-front cost was still a huge barrier for those hoping to switch to an electric vehicle – a fact underlined by the recent NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey – before describing the Government’s move as “a big step backwards”.