For the past few years, the Office for Low Emission vehicles here in the UK have offered a Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) of 35% off the cost of an electric car, up to a maximum of £5,000. This has been successfully adopted by many vehicle manufacturers as a way of subsidising the high initial price (due to the low volume, and high development costs) of EVs.
However, due to a proliferation of Plug-in Hybrid vehicles being released, which have a short (often less than 30 mile) range on pure electricity, and then a petrol or diesel engine which takes over afterwards to carry on providing power to drive, the government has decided to adjust the grant to reflect the difference between a genuinely zero-emission vehicle, and one which has only a partial zero-emission functionality.
From March 1st 2016, 2 PiCG grant rates will be available.
‘Category 1’ cars with a zero emission range of over 70 miles will receive a grant of £4,500.
‘Category 2 and 3’ cars with a shorter zero emission range, such as plug-in hybrid vehicles with a petrol or diesel engine, will receive £2,500.
This helps to ensure that the vehicles which can only be used on electricity stand to benefit more from the grant, and hopefully this will also ensure that more vehicle manufacturers look towards developing pure-electric drivetrains in the future, rather than the halfway house of plug-in hybrids.
HomeCharge Grant Scheme Funding Reduced
A few years ago, you were able to get a fully subsidised electric vehicle chargepoint fitted at your house for free. You didn’t even need to prove ownership of an EV, just say that you’re thinking about getting one in the future, and that was good enough. OLEV would pay up to £1,000 for the installation of a charger at a domestic property, no questions asked.
Then, they noticed that the fund was being used up quite quickly by people who didn’t actually use them at all. So the rules were changed. There would now be a request for proof of EV ownership, and the grant would be limited to a maximum of 75% (capped at £700) of the cost of the charge point. It was via this scheme that I got my charger installed by The Phoenix Works last August, for a subsidised price of £299.
However, from 1st March 2016, the grant will be capped to a maximum of £500, likely resulting in a cost of £400-500 for a home charger to be installed. The charge point needs to be physically installed before 29th February 2016, otherwise the new pricing will apply.
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