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Plug-in Car Grants cut early after 'exceptional demand' surge

Fri 12 October 2018 | Back to news list

Having announced that funding to support electric and hybrid cars would be cut by November 9, the Government brought forward the change to October 21 following an 'exceptional demand' surge. Grants for 'Category 1' vehicles, which have a range of 70 miles or more, have been cut from £4,500 to £3,500 while plug-in hybrid (Categories 2 and 3) models will no longer be eligible for a grant.

The Government statement says that over the last seven years the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) has provided a discount to the price of over 160,000 new ultra-low emission vehicles.

It says that the PICG has "helped the plug-in hybrid market become more established, and that the Government will now focus its support on zero emission models like pure electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars".

While it is cutting grant support for Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), the Government says that they are among the cleanest on the road and can deliver significant CO2 savings compared to petrol/diesel cars. PHEVs, it says, will continue to receive significant support through lower car tax rates, grants for charging infrastructure and local incentives (such as free parking).

The move was criticised by the SMMT and motoring groups. For example, Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA (reported by the BBC), said: "The government wants to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars, but scrapping grants for low emission cars may well stall their progress.

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