UK government electric-car grant cut again – incentive slashed for new-car buyers

The UK government Plug-in Car Grant has dropped to just £1,500 and now only applies to models costing under £32,000

Plug in car grants illustration

The UK government Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) has been cut from £2,500 to a maximum of just £1,500 as of 15 December 2021 and now only applies to cars costing less than £32,000. 

The news comes less than 24 hours since DrivingElectric called for increased emphasis on “great-value electric cars” – awarding the new MG ZS EV its overall Car of the Year prize for 2022. Priced at less than £30,000, the ZS continues to qualify for the grant.

The 2020 Budget confirmed that the PiCG would continue into 2023, and it's thought these changes are considered necessary to facilitate that. The government previously promised a £403 million investment, along with a £129.5 million allocation for the continuation of the plug-in grants; sales of zero-emission models are up 89% year-on-year.

In addition to the PiCG changes for passenger cars, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced an update to the incentives available for light commercial vehicles (LCVs). Vans under 2.5 tonnes are now only eligible for a £2,500 grant, down from £3,000 previously. Funds available for larger models have been cut to £5,000 per van and both schemes limit businesses to 1,000 vehicles per year.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: ​​The market is charging ahead in the switch to electric vehicles. This, together with the increasing choice of new vehicles and growing demand from customers, means that we are re-focusing our vehicle grants on the more affordable vehicles and reducing grant rates to allow more people to benefit, and enable taxpayers’ money to go further. 

“We want as many people as possible to be able to make the switch to an electric vehicle,” she added.

The government has also announced plans to mandate contactless payment “for new 7kW and above chargepoints, including rapids”. It says motorists will “soon be able to compare costs across networks, which will be in a recognisable format, similar to pence per litre for fuel and there will be new standards to ensure reliable charging for electric vehicle drivers.” 

Harrison commented: “This will ensure drivers have confidence in our charging infrastructure, as we look to reduce our carbon emissions, create green jobs and level up right across the UK."

Most Popular

New Smart #1 electric SUV: specs, range, on-sale date and prototype ride
Smart #1 prototype
Smart

New Smart #1 electric SUV: specs, range, on-sale date and prototype ride

New Kia Niro EV rival will kickstart a new line-up of Smart electric cars; order books open in December, but we’ve ridden shotgun in a prototype
27 May 2022
Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?
Mercedes fuel cell
Hydrogen

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?

A guide to where you can find UK hydrogen fuel stations for filling up a hydrogen fuel-cell car
23 May 2022
Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022
Top 10 best electric SUVs
Best cars

Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022

Electric SUVs combine style and practicality with low running costs, making them a very popular choice in the UK. Here are our top 10 favourites to bu…
17 May 2022