Van buyers in the UK will be able to receive 20%—up to £8,000 (US$12,300)—off the cost of a plug-in van, UK Transport Minister Norman Baker and Business Minister Mark Prisk announced. This is an extension of the Plug-In Car Grant which offers 25%—up to £5,000 (US$7,700)—to motorists buying a new plug-in car. Ministers have also re-confirmed there is funding secured for this grant until 2015.
There are currently 10 cars eligible for the Plug-In Car Grant—5 of which came onto the market in 2011, with the other half expected to be available to purchase this year. During the first year of the scheme, 1,052 eligible vehicles were registered and, up to 31 December 2011, 892 applications were made for the Plug-In Car Grant (Quarter 1; 465; Quarter 2 215; Quarter 3 106; Quarter 4 106). Manufacturers apply for the grant following the purchase of the car hence the lag between registrations and grant applications.
The purpose of the consumer grant is to enable the purchase of ultra-low carbon vehicles which could otherwise have been unaffordable. The consumer will also benefit from lower running costs over the lifetime of the vehicle.
Electric vehicles are the arrowhead for a low carbon revolution in motoring and as more models come to market we’ll begin to see sales gather pace. Car buyers have had a year to take advantage of our grant and now it’s time for van buyers to get their chance to go electric. This is great news for businesses given the lower running costs of these vehicles—fleet buyers tell us that this is one of the most important factor influencing their decision on what to buy.—Transport Minister Norman Baker
Only vans which meet strict performance criteria for range, tail-pipe emissions and safety will be eligible for the Plug-In Van Grant. The application process opens today and van manufacturers are invited to apply for their vehicles to become part of the scheme. Applications can be received at any time. The Department expects to confirm shortly the first vans to join the scheme, for which applications will need to be received by 31 January.
The UK Government has made provision of more than £400 million (US$614 million) to promote the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicle technologies. This includes approximately £80 million (US$123 million) supporting research and development activities; £30 million (US$46 million) for the installation of infrastructure; and, £300 million (US$460 million) to support consumer incentives for the life of the Parliament.
The Government’s assessment is that the number of installed chargepoints in the UK is more than 2,500, of which 765 have been delivered (to 14 October 2011) through the Government’s Plugged-In Places trials and the remainder through private sector organisations’ investment. The private sector organisations have commitments to deliver approximately a further 4,000 points across the UK by the end of 2012.