The grants that were introduced in 2011 to subsidise the purchase of electric and other low-emission cars are to be extended by a further two years. The announcement came as the Government faced criticism from environmental groups for the pace of its plan for compliance with EU legal limits for vehicle emissions. The extension of the grants aims to encourage over 100,000 consumers to purchase greener vehicles.
The Department of Transport has announced that the plug-in car grant that offers buyers up to £4,500 towards the cleanest cars available will now run until March 2018. As a result of the extension the total funding will reach £400 million. This will boost the UK’s rapidly expanding electric vehicle market and contribute to the improvement of air quality.
Since the introduction of the grant, we have seen approximately 50,000 low emission vehicles sold at substantial discount to consumers. These were mainly electric, but the number also included hybrid and hydrogen powered cars. Following the announcement of the extension, the numbers of these kinds of cars on the roads of Britain are now predicted to treble. The scheme has been revised with the intention of focusing inducements on zero-emissions vehicles and no longer subsidising the most expensive hybrids.
The chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has welcomed the extension. The planned alterations to the regime will require effective management and the SMMT has revealed its excitement at the prospect of collaborating with the Government to make sure that the planning needs of consumers and manufacturers in both the private and fleet sectors are successfully met.
Nissan GB has invested £420 million in the development of its best selling electric car, The Leaf and the manufacturer has also welcomed the news. The combination of the extension and the continued infrastructure developments is set to see the ongoing growth and wider development of the technology.
Owners of low-emission vehicles that install a dedicated charge point at their property can expect to receive a £500 grant from March 2016. The vehicles with a zero-emission range of more than 70 miles, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will receive a full grant of £4,500 but hybrids that cost less than £60,000 will receive half that amount. The extension of the grant will contribute to keeping Britain at the forefront of the technology, increase the support for plug-in vehicles and help to cut harmful emissions, as well as creating many new automotive jobs.