As sales of plug-in cars, vans and motorcycles increase, the UK government has updated the grant scheme for zero-emission vehicles, targeting less expensive models with the aim of allowing the scheme’s funding to go further and to help more people make the switch to an EV.
From today [15 December] the government will provide grants of up to £1,500 for electric cars priced under £32,000, with currently around 20 models on the market. It added this will ensure taxpayers’ money makes the most difference.
Support for wheelchair accessible vehicles is being prioritised, with these retaining the £2,500 grant and a higher £35,000 price cap. The government’s total investment in the EV transition remains unchanged.
The Plug in Van Grant will now be £5,000 for large vans and £2,500 for small vans, with a limit of 1,000 per customer per year. This aims to enable a more sustainable grant scheme and will ensure that taxpayers’ money is distributed more fairly across businesses seeking to transition their vehicles to zero emission. Plug in Van Grant orders in 2021 are already over 250% higher than in 2020, demonstrating the strong shift to an electric future.
Motorcycle and moped grants will also be changing, with the government now providing £500 off the cost of a motorcycle, and £150 for mopeds, with a price cap on vehicles of £10,000. It reported that almost 50% of mopeds sold this year were battery electric, with some models now at price parity with their internal combustion engine equivalent.
Furthermore, the government will also introduce new rules next year that will increase confidence in EV charging infrastructure. These rules will mandate a minimum payment method – such as contactless payment – for new 7.1 kW and above chargepoints, including rapids.
Transport minister, Trudy Harrison, said: “The market is charging ahead in the switch to electric vehicles. This, together with the increasing choice of new vehicles and growing demand from customers, means that we are refocusing our vehicle grants on the more affordable vehicles and reducing grant rates to allow more people to benefit, and enable taxpayers’ money to go further.
“We want as many people as possible to be able to make the switch to an electric vehicle, which is why we will also be introducing new rules to make it easier to find and pay at chargepoints. This will ensure drivers have confidence in our charging infrastructure, as we look to reduce our carbon emissions, create green jobs and level up right across the UK.”