The UK Government eliminated the £1,500 plug-in car grant (PiCG) with immediate effect and without prior notice today, ending the electric vehicle incentive scheme that started in 2011.
You may still be able to save money on the purchase of some brand-new low-emission automobiles however. The grant amount is determined by the vehicle's category, which must fall under one of the following eight where the grant will continue to operate: motorcycles, mopeds, small vans, large vans, taxis, wheelchair-accessible vehicles, small and large trucks.
A statement given by the UK Government said: "The Government has always been clear the plug-in car grant was temporary and previously confirmed funding 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 the continuously growing range of models being manufactured. Due to this, the government is now refocusing funding towards the main barriers to the EV transition, including public charging and supporting the purchase of other road vehicles where the switch to electric requires further development."
The PiCG's discontinuation was announced only six months after the maximum grant amount was decreased from £2,500 to £1,500, and the maximum sticker price for qualifying vehicles was lowered from £35,000 to £32,000, making only the most reasonably priced EVs available to qualify. As manufacturers introduce more affordable entry-level EVs, the UK Government reported that there are currently 24 EVs available below this price threshold, up from 15 last year.
Previously, the grant offered owners of electric cars a maximum discount of £2,500, or 35% off the purchase price. In December 2021, that cap was reduced to £1,500.
According to the statement, the decision was made partly because of the UK's electric car revolution, which is stated to have helped increase sales of pure EVs from 1,000 units in 2011 to almost 100,000 in just the first five months of 2022. Since its introduction, the PiCG has been used on more than 500,000 EVs, costing more than £1.4 billion.
Transport minister Trudy Harrison stated: "The government continues to invest record amounts in the transition to EVs, with £2.5 billion 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 continues. 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 more accessible."