UK Plug-In Car Grant to be replaced at end of the year

The UK’s £5,000 Plug-In Car Grant (PICG) will run out at the end of the year at a date to be confirmed later, plans for a replacement scheme are underway with a new tiered system set to replace the 75g/km CO2 cutoff. 

More than 25,000 Plug-In Car Grants have been handed out to car buyers since 2010, but the take-up is accelerating, with 2,000 grants claimed in January 2015 alone. 

The success of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – which has sold 10,000 in 10 months – along with a growing EV market means the limit of 50,000 plug-in cars is expected to be met soon and the allocated cash will run out. It was first estimated that the allowance for 50,000 grants could last until as late as 2017 but plug-in car sales have exceeded these expectations.

Best electric cars

With the total fast approaching, the Government has made available £200 million to continue the plug-in car grant from 2015 to 2020, but under a new system favouring Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEVs). 

A three category tiered system where grants are issued based on CO2 emissions and zero emissions range was announced in April 2015.

Category 1 vehicles must have a zero emissions range above 70 miles and CO2 emissions below 50g/km. Category 2 vehicles are met with the same emissions quota, but need only to travel between 10 and 69 miles on electricity alone. Category 3 vehicles are allowed emissions below 75g/km of CO2 and a zero emissions range above 20 miles. How the grant is distributed amongst the three groups is still under discussion, however.  

Best hybrid cars

Mitsubishi managing director Lance Bradley told Auto Express he wasn’t in support of the tiered system as it would unfairly favour some makers and affect the uptake of EVs. He added: “I hope the uncertainty can be solved as soon as possible. We’re keen to see a successful outcome.”

A source in the Office for Low Emission Vehicles admitted Government support for electric cars won’t last indefinitely. He said: “We’re far ahead of expectation over the last 12 months. The idea is the Government gracefully exiting stage left in due course.”

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said clarifcation was needed on the future of the grant. He said: “Millions of drivers will be utterly confused as to what car to buy next. Diesels are in the doghouse because of the air quality issue and now those thinking of going ultra-green are faced with the possibility of paying more than they bargained for unless they move quickly.” 

Nissan Leaf tops table for EV grants

The Nissan Leaf has been the most popular electric car on UK roads since the introduction of the plug-in car grant in 2011According to DVLA data, analysed by the RAC Foundation, 6,838 Leafs had been registered by the end of 2014.

A total of 5,273 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs were registered – particularly impressive when you consider that it only went on sale at the end of 2013, while the Leaf had a two-year head start.

And the Outlander PHEV could soon take over from the Leaf, as 5,261 of the Mitsubishi registrations came in 2014 compared to the Nissan’s 2,993 last year.

This is the first time that we’ve seen a full breakdown of these figures, and they illustrate just how much of a failure the likes of the Renault Fluence (73 sales) and Chevrolet Volt (124) were during their brief time on sale. 

  Model Cars bought Sales period

1

Nissan Leaf

6,838

2011 to May 2015

2

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

5,273

2013 to May 2015

3

BMW i3

1,534

2013 to May 2015

4

Renault ZOE

1,356

2012 to May 2015

5

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

1,324

2014 to May 2015

6

Vauxhall Ampera

1,169

2012 to Jan 2015

7

Tesla Model S

698

2014 to May 2015

8

Renault Kangoo ZE

663

2011 to May 2015

9

Nissan e-NV200

399

2014 to May 2015

10

Peugeot iOn

368

2011 to May 2015

11

BMW i8

279

2014 to May 2015

12

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

266

2011 to May 2015

13

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

241

2014 to May 2015

14

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

205

2009 to 2012

15

Citroen C-Zero

202

2011 to May 2015

16

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

175

2012 to May 2015

17

Chevrolet Volt

124

2012 to 2014

18

Volkswagen e-up!

118

2014 to May 215

19

Renault Fluence

73

2012 to 2013

20

Audi A3 e-tron

66

2014 to May 2015

Check out our round-up of the best hybrid cars on sale now

Source link