In 2011, back when electric motoring seemed like more of a dream than a reality, the government set up a grant scheme to help with the cost of plug-in vehicles. The generosity of the Plug-In Car Grant, as it’s imaginatively called, has been progressively cut since then.
The current version, which has applied since October 2018, offers up to £3,500 off the cost of a new car that emits less than 50g CO2/km and can travel at least 70 miles with zero emissions. The government has a list of the eligible cars here.
Why do we mention this now? Because the Plug-In Car Grant is currently only funded until April 2020, so it’s possible that it may not continue beyond then. Indeed, a recent report in the Times suggested that it “could be scrapped” by government ministers eager to spend cash in other areas.
What’s more, back in 2018, the government’s own Road to Zero report said that “we… expect to deliver a managed exit from the grant in due course and to continue to support the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles through other measures”.
It should be said that none of this is a foregone conclusion. The Road to Zero report was published during Theresa May’s premiership, and Boris Johnson is in change now. He may decide to continue the grant, in some form, beyond April 2020.
If Johnson does scrap the grant, the timing of the decision would stand out – only days ago, he announced that his government intends to bring forward the ban on new petrol and diesel sales to 2035, in part to drive an electric future.
But the argument from inside government has always been that they cannot afford to keep on paying the Plug-In Car Grant indefinitely, particularly as electric vehicles become more and more widespread. Presumably, that argument still stands.
Whatever the case, we will have an answer on the grant’s future soon: in Sajid Javid’s first Budget, which is being released on 11 March.
In the meantime, it’s worth remembering that there are a number of grants still available for fleets and motorists looking to go electric, including the Plug-in Car Grant for now.
Here’s a quick guide to the main ones:
Plug-in Car Grant
Up to £3,500 off the cost of a new car that emits less than 50g CO2/km and can travel at least 70 miles with zero emissions.
Plug-in Van Grant
20% off the cost, up to a maximum of £8,000, of a new van that emits less than 75g CO2/km and can travel at least 10 miles with zero emissions.
Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme
Offsets 75% of the cost of installing a chargepoint at home, up to a maximum of £500.
Workplace Charging Scheme
Offers vouchers worth £300 for each of the first 20 chargepoints installed by an employer.
100% First-Year Allowance
In 2016, the government introduced a 100% First-Year Allowance for businesses installing chargepoints, and has since extended this scheme to 2023.
Find out more
If you would like to discuss any of these grants, and how you can benefit from them, please don’t hesitate to speak to a member of LeasePlan’s team.