Electric car incentives ‘are needed’ as the upfront cost of EVs is ‘too high’

Question Time audience member reveals electric car 'anxiety'

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Thomas Maerz, Chief Development Officer for electric specialist at Rivus Fleet Solutions warns the upfront cost of electric cars is still “too high” for many drivers. He added cutting back on Government subsidies would be seen as a “negative step”.

He said: “This no-notice decision from the UK Government to cut plug-in grants has undoubtedly come as a shock to many of our customers.

“Many believe subsidy schemes such as these are needed right now to aid the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).

“However, at Rivus we believe that EV adoption will still be widespread by the end of this decade.

“Our insight tells us that fleet operators already feel the upfront cost of electric vehicles is too high, so reducing grants at this time will be seen as a negative step.

“However, it is important to consider the total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle when making cost comparisons to a traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle.

“Even with a reduced Government grant, operating an EV fleet can still be cost-effective when comparing EV and ICE costs across the whole lifecycle of the fleet vehicle.”

The plug-in grant was cut from £2.500 to £1,500 earlier this month.

Grants are only available on electric cars priced under £32,000 or around 20 models on the market.

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The Government said the changes will help the funding “go further” and help even “more people make the switch”.

However, fleets and businesses will also have to abide by strict new rules on benefits.

Under the new rules, businesses will be limited to just 1,000 discounted vehicles.

The Government said this will ensure taxpayers money is “distributed more fairly across businesses”.

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