Government cuts Plug-in Grants

The Government provided no advance warning to fleets and drivers ahead of its announcement confirming an immediate change to the rates and eligibility criteria for the Plug-in Car Grant, the Plug-in Van Grant and the Plug-in Truck Grant.

The changes, which took effect on the morning of the announcement on Friday 18 March include: 

  •  The Plug-in Car Grant has been cut from £3,000 to £2,500 and now excludes models that cost more than £35,000. 
  •  The Plug-in Van Grant has been cut to a maximum of £3,000 for small vans and £6,000 for large vans (2.5t-3.5t GVW).  
  • The Plug-in Truck Grant, which had provided funding of up to £20,000, has been cut to £16,000 for trucks up to 12.5t GVW, and increased to £25,000 for trucks over 12.5t.  

The Government cited budgetary concerns as a reason for not providing advance notice, claiming that it would not have the finances to meet an upsurge in demand for the grants if an end date was known. It has also said that it wants to re-focus on affordable zero emission vehicles.  

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) has confirmed that it is allowing dealers and vehicle manufacturers to claim for any orders that were placed by customers in the 28 days before today’s change.   

If the vehicle has been entered onto the OZEV Grant Portal, grant eligibility will still apply. If not, the onus will be on the dealer to provide evidence that the order was placed within the last 28 days. Members are advised to speak to dealers and manufacturers to see whether their vehicles are eligible.  

The BVRLA is engaging with OZEV to understand what exactly will constitute acceptable evidence.    

BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney issued a response following the announcement, highlighting that this poorly timed move will slow down the transition to zero emission motoring, and will come as a particular blow for the commercial vehicle sector, where BVRLA members have been working so hard to drive uptake of electric vans and trucks.