Financial incentives to buy a new hybrid vehicle in the UK have been ended, just months after the government announced the Road to Zero strategy. Grants for fully electric vehicles have also been slashed.
You’ll need to move quickly if you want to buy a discounted electric car. The Plug-in Car Grant, which pays for 35% of the price of a new vehicle, currently goes up to a maximum value of £4,500. It will be cut to £3,500 after the 1st November. This grant applies to very low emission (i.e, fully electric) vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3.
Discounts for hybrid vehicles on the other hand have been scrapped altogether. That means you will have to pay full price for cars such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in or the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
The reason behind the change, according to the Department for Transport, is that hybrid cars have become popular enough among consumers to no longer need the government’s support – who want to shift attention on fully electric cars instead.
Sending mixed messages
Car manufactures however have been critical of the move.
Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) 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.”
What to do if you’re planning to buy an EV
If you’re planning to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle soon, you can find details about grants here – https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants.