From January 2011, the government introduced a giant £5,000 electric car grant which also applies to plug-in hybrid cars. In 2012, the grant was extended to run up until 2015. It was also expanded to allow grants of up to £8,000 for electric vans.
Motorists purchasing a qualifying ultra-low emission car can receive a grant of 25% towards the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum of £5,000 for cars or £8,000 for vans. This allows you to cut the upfront cost of electric vehicles, which typically cost at least a third more than rival, conventional combustion engine cars. Both private consumers and businesses can benefit from the Plug-in Car Grant.
The government is adopting a technology neutral approach to reducing emissions from transport. This means, electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-fuelled cars can all apply for the grant. However, consumers will find that hydrogen vehicles are, as yet, less available on the open market.
The Plug-in Car Grant has been designed to help make the whole-life costs of a qualifying car more comparable with petrol or diesel equivalents. Over time, as manufacturers begin to make these cars in greater volumes, the costs of production should begin to fall. This will help to make an ultra-low carbon car a realistic option for anyone looking to buy a car.
The cars eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant are:
- Chevrolet Volt
- Citroen CZero
- Mitsubishi i-MiEV
- Nissan Leaf
- Peugeot iOn
- Renault Fluence ZE
- Smart fortwo electric drive
- Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
- Vauxhall Ampera
If you are looking to use the Plug-in Car Grant to purchase an eligible car, the good news is that there are no application forms to fill in. The dealership you are buying your car from will complete all the paperwork on your behalf as you buy the car; and the amount of your Grant will be automatically deducted from the price of your car at the point of purchase. As of 30 September 2012, 2,311 claims have been made through the Plug-in Car Grant scheme.
The vans eligible for the plug-in car grant by make and model are:
- Azure Dynamics Transit Connect Electric
- Daimler Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell
- Faam ECOMILE
- Faam JOLLY 2000
- Mia electric Mia U
- Renault Kangoo
- Smith Electric Smith Edison