Funding support for purchases of electric vehicles is to be reduced or stopped altogether for some categories but will run for a further 35,000 vehicles.
In an announcement yesterday (11 October), the Department for Transport and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, noted that over the last seven years, the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) has provided a discount to the price of over 160,000 new ultra-low emission cars.
Explaining the reductions in incentives, the government pair said these â€œreflect the ongoing success of the PICG in increasing uptake of electric vehicles, a key part of the governmentâ€™s Road to Zero strategy.
They added: â€œThe PICG has helped the plug-in hybrid market become more established, and the government will now focus its support on zero emission models like pure electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars.
â€œThe changes to the grant announced today will mean that the grant rate for Category 1 vehicles will move from Â£4,500 to Â£3,500 and Category 2 and 3 vehicles will no longer be eligible for the grant.â€
The PICG was first introduced in 2011 to help stimulate the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles.
In their statement, OLEVand the DfT said that with plug-in hybrid models like the Mitsubishi Outlander becoming popular among consumers, the government is focussing its attention to zero emission models such as the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.
They explained: â€œPlug-in hybrid vehicles are among the cleanest on the road, and can deliver significant CO2 savings compared to petrol/diesel cars. These vehicles will continue to receive support through lower car tax rates, grants for charging infrastructure and local incentives (such as free parking).â€
And, following the success of the PICG scheme the government has rolled out Plug-In Van, and Motorcycle grants, available to both private and business buyers across the UK.
Following the Last Mile call for evidence, and in light of evidence from other countries, a Â£2 million fund is planned. This will contribute 20% of the purchase price of new e-cargo bikes, up to a threshold of Â£5,000. Funding will be conditional on individual businesses following a code of cycle safety good practice.
This new fund, said DfT and OLEV, will help to cut congestion and improve air quality, encouraging companies to replace older, polluting vans with a zero emission alternative to create a cleaner, greener future. Money will be split between larger fleets and smaller operators to ensure benefits are available to and spread between all sizes of business.
FACTS AND FIGURES (source: DfT and OLEV)
Ultra-low emission vehicles are placed into different categories on the basis of their CO2 emissions and their zero emission range:
Category 1 â€“ COâ‚‚ emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range of at least 70 miles
Category 2 â€“ COâ‚‚ emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range between 10 and 69 miles
Category 3 â€“ COâ‚‚ emissions of 50 to 75g/km and a zero emission range of at least 20 miles
The changes to the grant will mean: