Plug-in grants end with immediate effect – drivers no longer to claim money off
GMB: Grant Shapps clashes with Richard Madeley
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The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced today that the plug-in grant for cars will end with immediate effect. It was introduced over a decade ago to stimulate the early market for EVs, and has provided over £1.4billion to support the purchase of over 420,000 electric cars.
The Government said that it has always been clear that the grant was only temporary.
It added that successive reductions in the size of the grant, and the number of models it covers, have had little effect on rapidly accelerating sales, or on the continuously growing range of models being manufactured.
Because of that, ministers have decided to focus on funding the public charging network across the UK, which seems to be the biggest EV barrier as of now.
Grant Shapps will also be supporting the purchase of other road vehicles, where the switch to electric requires further development.
The DfT also made clear that it will continue the drive towards net zero and ensure effective use of taxpayer funds.
Some £300million will now be refocussed towards extending Plug-in Grants to boost sales of plug-in taxis, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and wheelchair accessible vehicles.
The shift in focus is also meant to help Boris Johnson eradicate “range anxiety” and make sure the transition to zero-emission transport is easy and convenient for all drivers across the UK.
A statement released by the DfT added that all existing applications for the grant will continue to be honoured.
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Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: ”The Government continues to invest record amounts in the transition to EVs, with £2.5billion injected since 2020, and has set the most ambitious phase-out dates for new diesel and petrol sales of any major country.
“But Government funding must always be invested where it has the highest impact if that success story is to continue.
“Having successfully kickstarted the electric car market, we now want to use Plug-in Grants to match that success across other vehicle types, from taxis to delivery vans and everything in between, to help make the switch to zero emission travel cheaper and easier.
“With billions of both Government and industry investment continuing to be pumped into the UK’s electric revolution, the sale of electric vehicles is soaring.
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“We are continuing to lead the way in decarbonising transport, with generous Government incentives still in place, while creating high skilled jobs and cleaner air across the UK.”
Since 2020, Mr Shapps has committed £2.5billion to Plug-in Vehicle Grants, infrastructure and the wider transition to electric vehicles in the UK.
The industry is further boosting the switch to greener vehicles by expanding its range of more affordable zero-emission cars.
A total of 24 models are currently priced under £32,000, compared to just 15 a year ago, and the cost of monthly purchase and rental schemes has fallen significantly.
Plug-in Grants will continue until at least financial year 2023/24 for taxis and motorcycles, and 2024/25 for vans, trucks, and wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
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