Budget sees grants for new electric cars reduced by £500

The Canary

Grants for new electric cars have been cut in chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, warned that this risks failing to “tip the balance” for undecided buyers if it falls quicker than the retail price of electric cars. He said: “This is still a fragile market and ultimately the advertised benefits of cheaper fuel and other running costs mean nothing to drivers if the up-front cost of the vehicle is too high in the first place, compared to the petrol or diesel equivalent.”

The maximum grant for motorists who make the switch to an electric car will be reduced by £500 to £3,000 from Thursday. Some £403m of government funding will extend the grant to 2022/23.

The plug-in car grant has been in place since 2011 to support the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles. It was originally set at £5,000 for all eligible ultra-low emission cars, but in 2018 it was cut to £3,500 and hybrids were excluded.

Figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders shows 38,000 pure electric new cars were bought in 2019, more than double the total in the previous year. These cars now hold a 1.6% share of the new car market.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us