Government drops plug-in grant to £1,500 for electric cars under £32,000

Government drops plug-in grant to £1,500 for electric cars under £32,000


The government has announced that the grant scheme for zero-emission vehicles has been updated to target less expensive models. The move aims to allow the scheme’s funding to go further and so help more people make the switch to an electric vehicle (EV).

From today, the government will now provide grants of up to £1,500 for electric cars priced under £32,000, with currently around 20 models on the market. Support for wheelchair accessible vehicles is also being prioritised, with these retaining the £2,500 grant and a higher £35,000 price cap.

Grant rates for the Plug-in Van Grant will now be £5,000 for large vans and £2,500 for small vans, with a limit of 1,000 per customer per year. This will enable a more sustainable grant scheme and will ensure that taxpayers’ money is distributed more fairly across businesses seeking to transition their vehicles to zero emission. Plug-in Van Grant orders in 2021 are already over 250% higher than in 2020, demonstrating the strong shift to an electric future.

Motorcycle and moped grants will also be changing, with the government now providing £500 off the cost of a motorcycle, and £150 for mopeds, with a price cap on vehicles of £10,000. Almost 50% of mopeds sold this year were battery electric, with some models now at price parity with their internal combustion engine equivalent. These changes and the new price cap will target funding where it is really needed to support the transition to zero emission two-wheelers.

“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 refocusing 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,” said Transport Minister Trudy Harrison.

In March 2021, the UK government also reduced the plug-in car grant for electric cars. In an announcement published on 18th March, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) confirmed that the grant scheme for electric cars, vans and trucks had been updated. At that time, the grant was cut to a maximum of  £2,500 – down from £3,000 – for electric vehicles on cars priced under £35,000 (previously less than £50,000).

Meanwhile, the government is now setting out that it will introduce new rules next year that aim to increase confidence in the UK’s EV charging infrastructure. The rules will mandate a minimum payment method – such as contactless payment – for new 7.1 kW and above charging devices, including rapid devices. 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.

“We want as many people as possible to be able to make the switch to an electric vehicle, which is why we will also be introducing new rules to make it easier to find and pay at charge points,” Harrison continued.

“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.”