The government has woken up and acted in a rare display of sensibility extended the Plug In grant that was due to expire at the end of February.
Yes Andrew Jones, Under Secretary of State at Department for Transport who has responsibility for OLEV of Office for Low Emission Vehicles, said: “The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and the plug-in car grant has been key to that success”.
He continued: “We are determined to keep Britain at the forefront of the technology, increasing our support for plug-in vehicles to £600 million over the next 5 years to cut emissions, create jobs and support our cutting edge industries.”
A quick bit of maths shows spending £600 million would fund 130,000 electric cars over 5 years or 26,000 thousand cars per year.
The scheme will have two groups: Cat 1 – EV that can go 70 miles on a charge, they get the full £4,500 and Cat 2 cars that go less than 70 miles on pure electric mode: They get a reduced sum of £2,500. Confusing they have added a price cap of £60,000 for Cat 2 cars. This would rule out the Porsche 918 and Panamara Plug in..
The plug-in car grant launched in 2011 and 50,000 motorists have benefited so far. The extension is expected to help a further 100,000.
A qualifying vehicle is either fully electric, i.e. powered by a battery that is charged via a socket; plug-in hybrid, i.e. petrol/diesel engine teamed with battery the latter of which is charged by socket; or hydrogen.
Qualifying models include the: Nissan LEAF, Audi A3 e-tron, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, Kia Soul EV. Tesla S and Nissan e-NV200 Van. Drivers can also claim £500 from the electric vehicle home charging scheme to pay toward a fast charger.
Jim Wright, Nissan GB Managing Director, added: “Today’s decision by government has reaffirmed their commitment to the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles. With government support and Nissan’s investment of over £420 million into electric vehicles in the UK, our British made Nissan LEAF has increased in popularity with many UK customers already enjoying the benefits of zero emission and low cost driving.”
To encourage zero emission vehicles and maximise the number of everyday motorists who can benefit from government support, a price cap will also be introduced from 1 March 2016. Category 2 and 3 models with a list price of over £60,000 will not be eligible for the grant, but all category 1 vehicles with a zero emission range of over 70 miles will be eligible for the full £4,500 grant.
The government has committed to make nearly all cars and vans in the UK zero emission by 2050, and announced in the Spending Review to increase funding to £600 million between 2015 and 2020 to support the development, manufacture and uptake of ULEVs.
This commitment was reinforced when the UK was one of 14 international members of the Zero Emission Vehicle Alliance to sign a pledge promoting the uptake of electric cars at the recent Paris climate conference.