The government has announced that it is cutting the grant available towards new electric cars from £3,000 to £2,500 with immediate effect.
The grant was introduced in 2011 to help with the uptake with EVs – first being £5,000, but being reduced to £3,500 and then £3,000 in recent years. However, it will now be cut to £2,500, and will also not be available on more expensive electric cars – something the government says will help “funding to go further”.
Previously the cap on the grant was set at £50,000, but this has now been reduced to £35,000 – meaning key EVs such as the Tesla Model 3, BMW i3 and Ford Mustang Mach-E will no longer be available with any reductions.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “We want as many people as possible to be able to make the switch to electric vehicles as we look to reduce our carbon emissions, strive towards our net-zero ambitions and level up right across the UK.
“The increasing choice of new vehicles, growing demand from customers and rapidly rising number of charge points mean that, while the level of funding remains as high as ever, given soaring demand, we are refocusing our vehicle grants on the more affordable zero emission vehicles – where most consumers will be looking and where taxpayers’ money will make more of a difference.
“We will continue to review the grant as the market grows.”
But though the government hopes the grant will help those looking for cheaper EVs to get behind the wheel, the move has largely not been welcomed by the automotive industry – saying it’s the “wrong move at the wrong time”.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: "The decision to slash the Plug-in Car Grant is the wrong move at the wrong time. New battery electric technology is more expensive than conventional engines and incentives are essential in making these vehicles affordable to the customer.
“Cutting the grant and eligibility moves the UK even further behind other markets, markets which are increasing their support, making it yet more difficult for the UK to get sufficient supply. This sends the wrong message to the consumer, especially private customers, and to an industry challenged to meet the Government’s ambition to be a world leader in the transition to zero emission mobility.”Enquire on a new car!