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Government Plug-in Car Grant CLOSES, but electric taxi grants extended to April 2024

Image credit: LEVC

The Government today CLOSED the Plug-in Car Grant scheme to new orders after supporting the sale of nearly half a million electric cars.

Transport ministers did however confirm the EXTENSION of the Plug-in Taxi Grants (PiTG) scheme until at least the financial year 2023/24 for new electric taxis.

To aid the Government’s drive towards net zero and ensure effective use of taxpayer funds, £300million will now be refocussed towards extending Plug-in Grants to boost sales of plug-in taxis, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and wheelchair accessible vehicles, as announced in the Autumn Statement. 

The original Plug-in Car Grant scheme has created a mature market for ultra-low emission vehicles, helping to increase the sales of fully electric cars from less than 1,000 in 2011 to almost 100,000 in the first five months of 2022 alone.

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

The Government has always been clear the Plug-in Car Grant was temporary and previously confirmed funding until 2022-23. Successive reductions in the size of the grant, and the number of models it covers, have had little effect on rapidly accelerating sales, or on the continuously growing range of models being manufactured.

Due to this, the Government is now refocussing funding towards the main barriers to the electric vehicle (EV) transition, including public charging and supporting the purchase of other road vehicles, where the switch to electric requires further development.

The shift in focus will also help allow Government funding to target expanding the public chargepoint network, helping to eradicate “range anxiety” and ensuring the transition to zero-emission transport is easy and convenient for all drivers across the UK. The Government has already committed £1.6 billion to building the UK’s public chargepoint network. 

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.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: "The Government continues to invest record amounts in the transition to EVs, with £2.5 billion injected since 2020, and has set the most ambitious phase-out dates for new diesel and petrol sales of any major country. But Government funding must always be invested where it has the highest impact if that success story is to continue.

"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.

"With billions of both Government and industry investment continuing to be pumped into the UK's electric revolution, the sale of electric vehicles is soaring. We are continuing to lead the way in decarbonising transport, with generous Government incentives still in place, while creating high skilled jobs and cleaner air across the UK."  

The PiTG scheme currently offers a discount on the price of eligible taxis of up to a maximum of £7,500 or £3,000 – depending on the vehicle’s range, emissions and design. It is available to all taxi drivers and businesses buying or leasing a new purpose-built taxi at the point of purchase from the dealership or manufacturer.

Under the scheme, eligible taxis are allocated into one of two categories based on their carbon emissions and zero-emission range:

  • Category 1 PiTG (up to £7,500) - a zero emission range of 70 miles or more and emissions of less than 50g CO2/km.

  • Category 2 PiTG (up to £3,000) –a zero emission range of 10-69 miles and emissions of less than 50gCO2/km.


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