Sales of EVs soar as the £5,000 Government grant is replaced 1

The Nissan Leaf - a popular all-electric model in the UK thanks to the help of the grant.

The Nissan Leaf – a popular all-electric model in the UK thanks to the help of the grant.

The government’s electric vehicle car grant is set to end later this year and will be replaced in 2016 by a new tiered system based on emissions. The grant, which was introduced in 2011, currently offers low emission car and van buyers £5,000 or £8,000 off respectively. The scheme was set to run until 50,000 electric vehicles had been sold; a quota they originally thought may be met until as late as 2017.

Back in April a new set of rules were announced regarding the grant and emissions. The new system will come into place next year and has led many to question the future of the current grant. The Department of Transport has promised the grant will remain in place, even with the new changes coming, until the mark of 50,000 vehicles sold is reached or until 2017, whichever is sooner. Although, it looks like the quota will be met before this year runs out with the way sales are growing.

Sales were slow when the scheme first begun in 2011, but the larger range availability and the increasing number of models on offer has boosted purchases over the last two years. With over 35 cars and vans eligible for the grant, models like the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are proving very popular with UK buyers. The announcement of the change in rules has also been driving sales up, mostly of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV).  The current incentive covers all EVs and plug-in hybrids but the 2016 system will favour the ULEVs, so it makes the most sense to use the £5,000 off now to better your future savings.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is one of the most popular plug-in models to be purchased using the government grant.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is one of the most popular plug-in models to be purchased using the government grant.

The new tiered system sees EVs and plug-in vehicles rated in three categories regarding emissions, where ULEVs are favoured. Category 1 vehicles will have a zero emissions range above 70 miles and their CO2 emissions must be below 50g/km. Category 2 vehicles must produce zero emissions between 10 and 69 miles and CO2 emissions are also 50g/km. Category 3 vehicles must have a zero emissions range above 20 miles and are allowed emissions below 75g/km. The current grant covers vehicles in all categories but it is uncertain whether a similar grant will replace this one when it runs out, and what vehicles will be covered under the potential new scheme.

The government have outlined what will happen in 2016 with the introduction of the new rules in a PDF. They have noted that they’re considering opening the future grant to include larger vehicles and those they’ve not supported yet, as the current 3.5 tonne weight limit of the £8,000 van grant hasn’t been as successful as the £5,000 car grant.

It’s certain that the government grant had a major role in making the UK one of the world’s largest electric vehicle markets, but will we see a drop in sales after it has finished? If you’re thinking of buying an EV or plug-in then you ought to decide soon, because the 50,000 mark is fast approaching. Find out more about the grant and the available models here.

 

 

Image credit:

http://www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/outlander/gallery.aspx

http://www.nissan.co.uk/GB/en/vehicle/electric-vehicles/leaf/gallery/photos.html