Government cancels plug-in car grants with immediate effect

24 June 2022 | David Young

The UK government has closed the plug-in car grant scheme to new orders of electric vehicles (EVs) – which were worth up to £1,500

Government cancels plug-in car grants with immediate effect

The scheme has supported the sale of nearly half a million electric cars across the UK over an 11-year period – at a cost of around £1.4 billion.

Although it has helped with the adoption of EVs, the ending of the funding has led to criticism of the government.

RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: "The UK's adoption of electric cars is so far impressive but in order to make them accessible to everyone, we need prices to fall - having more on the road is one important way of making this happen, so we're disappointed the Government has chosen to end the grant at this point. If costs remain too high, the ambition of getting most people into electric cars will be stifled."

Battery and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) now make up more than half of all new cars sold, and fully electric car sales have risen by 70% in the last year, now representing 1 in 6 new cars joining UK roads.

The government previously stated that the plug-in car grant was temporary and confirmed funding would continue in decreasing amounts until 2022-23.

All existing applications for the grant will continue to be honoured and where a car has been sold in the two working days before the announcement, but an application for the grant from dealerships has not yet been made, the sale will also still qualify for the grant.

Following the announcement, the government is now focusing funding on the main barriers to the EV transition, including public charging and supporting the purchase of other road vehicles where the switch to electric requires further development.

They have announced that £300 million in grant funding will now be refocused towards extending plug-in grants to boost sales of plug-in taxis, motorcycles, vans, trucks, and wheelchair accessible vehicles.

The government has already committed £1.6 billion to building the UK's public charge point network.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: "Having successfully kickstarted the electric car market, we now want to use plug-in grants to match that success across other vehicle types, from taxis to delivery vans and everything in between, to help make the switch to zero emission travel cheaper and easier."