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Open letter calls on next government to continue EV subsidy scheme

20 automotive organisations including the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) and the AA have called on the next government to continue its electric vehicle (EV) grant scheme.

The joint letter, which has been sent to all the main party leaders in the UK, says that if the next government is serious about meeting its zero-emission road transport ambitions it must ‘provide certainty’ around its Plug-In Car and Van Grants.

Despite promises from all the main political parties to increase support for electric vehicles, none of their manifestos have explicitly pledged to continue the grant beyond 2020.

The grant has been in place since 2011 and has helped reduced the list price of an EV to encourage the greater take-up of the vehicles.

In 2018, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced it would be ending the Plug-in Car Grant for hybrids and reduce it by £1000 for pure electric models in October of that year.

The letter says that business fleets are buying over 50% of all new vehicles sold each year, including the majority of electric vehicles. However, this could be under threat if government subsidies are removed or cut further.

BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney said: ‘Waiting times for some of the most popular battery electric vehicles are already at nine or twelve months, and fleets need to know that the grant will still apply when the vehicle is delivered.

‘Fleets are in a unique position to accelerate the shift to more sustainable road transport, but we need the right incentives in place and the Plug-In Grant is crucial.â€?

AA president, Edmund V King OBE said: ‘The next government must take the lead on averting the climate crisis and giving fleets tangible and long-term incentives to switch to EVs are essential catalysts for change. The cleaner company or fleet car of today soon becomes the greener used car of tomorrow.’

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