The British government has abolished the plug-in car grant, saying the extra £300m will be used to expand the public car charging network and increase green technologies in all future vehicles.
The scheme, which ended today, has been hailed for helping to “successfully kickstart the UK’s electric car revolution”. Official figures show that in 2011 the sale of electrified vehicles was less than 1,000 compared to almost 100,000 new dealer registration in the first five months of 2022.
Having helped to “create a mature marker for ultra-low emission vehicles”, the government said the initiative was only ever a “temporary” measure and concluded now was the time to “refocus funding towards the main barriers” of EV ownership to other parts of the transport network.
£300m in grant funding will now be aimed at extending plug-in grants to boost sales of battery-powered taxis, motorcycles, commercial vans and trucks and wheelchair accessible vehicles.
The decision comes six months after the PiCG value was reduced from £2,500 to £1,500, and the maximum cost threshold of eligible vehicles was lowered from £35,000 to £32,000.
Currently, number of EVs below this price point stands at 15, with the government arguing there are still “significant savings in running costs for electric cars” as manufacturers introduce less expensive entry-level EVs which makes the absence of fiscal support less of an issue for buyers.
The UK’s Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “The government continues to invest record amounts in the transition to EVs, with £2.5 billion injected since 2020, and has set the most ambitious phase-out dates for new diesel and petrol sales of any major country. But government funding must always be invested where it has the highest impact if that success story is to continue.
“Having successfully kickstarted the electric car market, we now want to use plug-in grants to match that success across other vehicle types, from taxis to delivery vans and everything in between, to help make the switch to zero emission travel cheaper and easier.
“With billions of both government and industry investment continuing to be pumped into the UK’s electric revolution, the sale of electric vehicles is soaring. We are continuing to lead the way in decarbonising transport, with generous government incentives still in place, while creating high-skilled jobs and cleaner air across the UK.
“The government’s measures to support the uptake of electric cars over the past decade have helped to exceed electric car projections, with 39,000 new EV registrations in March 2022 – more than in the whole of 2019.
“Since its inception in 2011, the government’s plug-in car grant has provided over £1.4 billion and supported the purchase of nearly half a million clean vehicles,” added the Minister.