Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Government announces Plug-In Car Grant reduction

Outrage as government pulls the plug on grant for hybrid cars Government scraps plug-in car grant for hybrids
Russell Knight | 14 October, 2018, 21:19

The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed today the news reported by AM on Wednesday (10) - following reports in the Observer newspaper - that plug-in auto grant for hybrids will be cut by £1,000 and no longer apply to cars with a zero-emissions range of less than 70 miles, from November 12.

Now, the government has announced that Category 2 (CO₂ emissions under 50g/km and a zero emission range of 10-69 miles) and Category 3 cars (CO₂ emissions of 50-75g/km and a zero emission range of 20 miles+) are no longer eligible for the the grant, and Category 1 cars (CO₂ emissions of under 50g/km and a zero emission range of at least 70 miles) will have their grant cut by £1,000 to £3,500.

Those purchasing cars emitting up to 75 grams/km of Carbon dioxide but with a lower zero-emission range will no longer be eligible for such support under plans due to come into force next month.

Motoring officials have condemned the move to slash the hybrid grants with Mike Hawes from the SMMT saying it "sends yet more confusing signals to auto buyers".

Cuts to the Government's ULEV plug-in vehicle grants have been attacked as "short-sighted" and "frankly bonkers" by industry experts left questioning the move amid a drive to cut emissions by encouraging EV adoption.

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) scheme revision, which will now exclude new cars that emit more than 50g/km of Carbon dioxide and can't travel more than 69 miles exclusively on electric power alone.

The Government is facing criticism from the automotive industry for its decision to scrap the plug-in hybrid auto grant.

"Of particular concern, some popular zero emission capable plug-in hybrid models will lose their plug-in vehicle grant altogether".

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Industry body the Society of motor Manufacturers & Traders led the criticism, arguing that the move would have far-reaching consequences for consumers, the environment and industry.

Mikes Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said the cuts were "totally at odds with already challenging ambitions for Carbon dioxide reduction and sends yet more confusing signals to vehicle buyers".

Hawes said plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) made up less than 2% of the United Kingdom auto market, and noted that "as we've seen in other markets, prematurely removing up-front purchase grants can have a devastating impact on demand". As no PHEV currently on sale in Britain meets this standard - most can travel only around 30-miles - the grant effectively now only benefits buyers of pure-electric cars.

He added: "Prematurely removing up-front purchase grants can have a devastating impact on demand - without world-class incentives, government's world-class ambitions will not be delivered".

Jack Cousens, head of road policy at the AA, added: "The Government wants to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars but scrapping grants for low emission cars may well stall their progress".

Lyes told the BBC that the cuts signalled "a major blow to anyone hoping to go green with their next vehicle choice".

The government's changes mean the maximum grant for category one vehicles will be cut by £1,000 to £3,500, with grants for the remaining two categories scrapped completely.

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