The government has scrapped the plug-in car grant scheme, an initiative launched in 2011 to help bridge the upfront price difference between ultra-low emission cars and their internal combustion engine equivalents.
The government argues that the scheme has helped to mature the EV car market and that it is switching its attention to other forms of electric vehicle such as vans, motorcycles and taxis. It is focussing also on widening the availability of EV chargepoints.
Reaction has been mixed, with SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes stating the decision ‘sends the wrong message’ to motorists and the automotive industry.
Nicholas Lyes, RAC’s head of policy, said that cost remains a hinderance to wider EV adoption, arguing that ‘having more on the road is one important way of making this happen’.
The BBC, however, quotes Oliver Lord, head of the Clean Cities Campaign, as saying that public money should be put towards a scrappage scheme to help people on low incomes switch from polluting vehicles.
The scheme itself was always a temporary measure, with funding confirmed until 2022-23.
“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,” said the Department for Transport (DfT).
Is the government being too hasty with its decision to scrap the grant, given that sales of new petrol and diesel cars end in 2030 and that by 2035 all new cars must be 100 per cent zero emission at the tailpipe? Or is it the case that the EV car market stand on its own two feet, given DfT’s assertion that 24 vehicle models are currently priced under £32,000, compared to 15 a year ago, and that the cost of monthly purchase and rental schemes has fallen significantly?
Let us know by taking part in our Poll and expanding on your choice by letting us know what you think by joining the debate in the comments at the bottom of the page. All comments are moderated.