The Department for Transport’s decision to scrap the Plug in Car Grant for hybrids and reduce it by £1000 for pure electric models has been met with widespread dismay across the automotive industry.
Commenting on the announcement, which will take effect from November 9th, BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “The Government’s decision to cut the plug-in grant just months after launching the Road to Zero strategy is unbelievably short-sighted and will only serve to stifle the uptake of electric vehicles.
“This year we have already seen a significant increase in the uptake of electric vehicles. There is clearly momentum for change amongst motorists, but this has always been dependent on them being able to afford to choose an electric vehicle. The plug-in grant has been essential in supporting this growth.
“The BVRLA and its members played their part by launched our ‘Plug-in-Pledge’ in July this year, which looked towards a combined electric and hybrid plug-in fleets of 720,000 by 2025. The changes announced to the plug-in grant yesterday can only serve to obstruct the achievement of this goal.
Chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes said: “We understand the pressure on the public purse but, given the importance of environmental goals, it’s astounding that just three months after publishing its road to zero strategy, the government has reduced the incentive that gives consumers most encouragement to invest in ultra-low emission vehicles. Removing the grant for plug-in hybrids is totally at odds with already challenging ambitions for CO2 reduction and sends yet more confusing signals to car buyers.”
Head of roads policy at the AA, Jack Cousens said: “The government wants to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars but scrapping grants for low-emission cars may well stall their progress.”
Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, Sue Robinson said it was “extremely disappointing”.
Chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, Darren Shirley, said it was “the wrong signal for the government to send”. He added: “Plans to ban petrol and diesel cars are an important step towards cleaner air but electric vehicles play a vital role and help is needed in making them more affordable in the short term.”
Read the BVRLA’s full response in the press release issued on 12 October: BVRLA responds to Plug-in Grant announcement