30 Sep 2019

Plug-in Car Grant “will go eventually” reveals Transport secretary

The Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, has conceded in an interview that the £3,500 Government grant given to electric car buyers, will be phased out.

The Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG), entitles electric car buyers in the UK a 30 percent discount up to a maximum of £3,500.

Speaking to The Times, Shapps is quoted as saying,

I make no bones about it, we want to remove all the subsidy. So you can see this in two ways. If you are out there reading this, thinking of buying an electric car, buy it while the subsidy’s there, because it will go eventually.

The minister added that the Government could no longer promise extra public cash for new car-buying.

Speaking out after the interview, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said,

Given the importance of environmental goals it’s astounding that just three months after publishing its road to zero strategy, government has reduced the incentive that gives consumers most encouragement to invest in ultra-low emission vehicles.

The PiCG was subject to a controversial cut in the past year, with plug-in hybrids no longer eligible for the grant and contributions for full EVs reduced from £4,500 to the current amount. The cut came after a sharp increase in EV sales.

At the time, the AA's head of roads policy, Jack Cousens, said the decision “will simply put more drivers off from buying greener cars,” while Nicholas Lyes, of the RAC called it a “major blow” for anyone wanting to switch to a hybrid or EV.

In his interview with The Times, Shapps mooted a plan to use the money saved by ending the PiCG to install more charging points and create a “comprehensive national charging network.”

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