Motorists in the UK looking to buy new electric cars could face steeper costs in future. It has been reported that budgetary constraints could result in further cuts being made to the government’s plug-in car grant scheme, not only would this affect consumers, it would also have implications for the motor trade, including vehicle manufacturers and dealerships selling new and used electric cars.
What is the Plug-In Car Grant Scheme?
The government introduced the plug-in car grant scheme back in 2011 to encourage motorists to opt for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), rather than petrol or diesel cars, there are similar schemes in place for plug-in vans and taxis. Initially, anyone buying an eligible new electric car was entitled to discounts of up to £5,000, but now the government have updated the qualifying criteria creating three different categories for a new electric car:
- Category 1 includes specified models which produce carbon dioxide emissions of under 50g/km and have zero emission ranges of more than 70 miles. If you’re buying a new category one car, the government will pay up to 35 per cent of the cost, with a maximum grant of £3,500 available.
- Category 2 includes specified models which produce carbon dioxide emissions of under 50g/km and have zero emission ranges of 10 miles or more. No Grant.
- Category 3 includes specified models which have carbon dioxide emissions of between 50g/km and 75g/km and zero emission ranges of 20 miles or more. No Grant
When you buy a plug-in vehicle, you don’t have to apply for the grant yourself, the dealer will simply take the discount into account when pricing the vehicle, leaving you free to focus on the other motoring tasks, like obtaining road tax and taking out a suitable insurance policy. Low emissions vehicles are becoming increasingly popular with motorists and the government has committed to spending £124 million on plug-in car grants in this year alone, with that figure dropping to £96 million in 2019. So, if you’re considering buying a low emissions vehicle, now could be the time to do it, as putting off your purchase could cost you thousands of pounds!
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If you are considering a change to take advantage of the Category 1 grant, these are the vehicles that have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 112km (70 miles) without any emissions at all:
- BMW i3 and i3s
- BYD e6
- Citroen CZero
- Hyundai IONIQ Electric
- Hyundai KONA Electric
- Jaguar I-PACE
- Kia Soul EV
- Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
- Nissan e-NV200 (5-seater and 7-seater)
- Nissan LEAF
- Peugeot iON
- Renault ZOE
- Smart EQ fortwo
- Smart EQ forfour
- Tesla Model S
- Tesla Model X
- Toyota Mirai
- Volkswagen e-up!
- Volkswagen e-Golf
The grant will pay for 35% of the purchase price for these vehicles, up to a maximum of £3,500.
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