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Electric vehicle grants explained

 Published 2nd March 2022
General Guides 

The UK government offers a variety of grants to help reduce costs and help drivers and businesses to switch to electric models. They have all either seen recent changes or soon will, so we round up what grants are available.

Plug-in Car Grant

The current Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) takes £1,500 off the cost of a pure-electric car, as long as the recommended retail price (RRP) is less than £32,000 and it will cover at least 70 miles on a charge.

This has recently been reduced by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, which administers the grant, in December 2021. The change came about with no warning from the previous level of £2,500 for cars costing less than £35,000.

Over the years the grant has gradually been reduced, with stricter requirements in terms of emissions, driving range, and price, with plug-in hybrids included in the grant that was introduced in 2011.

The grant can be changed at any stage, and sees a fixed pot of money allocated at certain budgets. By reducing the support from each grant, it means more grants can be given, supporting greater numbers of customers as the market matures. Grants are applied to any vehicle ordered, whether leased or purchased out-right, as long as the requirements are met.

Plug-in Van Grant

The Plug-in Van Grant (PiVG) saw changes come into effect at the same time as the PiCG in late 2021. These now see reduced funding levels for most new models, with the aim being to extend the life of the grant itself.

Small vans - up to 2.5 tonnes - now receive up to £2,500 off the RRP, and larger 3.5 tonne models get up to £5,000 taken off the cost for customers. These are down from pre-change levels of £3,000 and £6,000 respectively.

Only heavy-duty vans - those with a 4.25 tonne rating and N2 categorisation - continue to qualify for the small truck grant worth £16,000.

Requirements remain for models to qualify, with those vehicles capable of covering 60 miles or more in zero-emissions driving mode, and less than 50 g/km CO2.

Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme

Along with support for cars, there is support available to charge them via the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS). The current level is £350 off the cost of a full-installed home charge point, for homeowners where off-street parking is available.

Things are set to dramatically change as of 31 March 2022, following a fairly stable time since it was introduced in 2014. The level of funding remains the same at £350 per charge point, but the focus has switched from home-owners to rented accommodation.

The grant will be aimed at landlords of rental properties and those living in leasehold flats, with the aim being to remove barriers to EV uptake, particularly in built up areas.

Landlords will be able to make up to 200 applications, up to a maximum of £70,000 per year, for those sites with private parking bays.

The changeover will be interesting to monitor, and could well see some drivers left disappointed or out of pocket. When grant levels changed previously, there was a grace period where the previous higher funding level would be honoured, as long as there was proof of an agreement to have a charger installed around three weeks prior to the change, and the unit was fully installed within two months of the change. The difference here was that the criteria remained the same, just the amount of funding changed.

With long lead times delaying delivery of new cars, there's a chance that customers will have ordered their vehicle under one set of EVHS rules, but not have it delivered until a very different set of regulations come in.

Workplace Charging Scheme

The Workplace Charging Scheme is also set to be shaken up from April 2022, with greater support for SMEs, charities, and other organisations.

Small businesses will be able to claim up to £350 per socket, and is opened up to the likes of B&Bs, holiday lets, and hospitality premises. Previously, the grant would have been restricted to staff use, but now is open for those looking to provide EV charging for customers and visitors.

Workplace charging for staff is still available, also at up to £350 per socket, in assigned staff and fleet car parks. Commercially let properties can also see landlords claim a grant of £350 per socket, with a maximum of 100 applications, so long as there is associated parking.

Grants and vehicle delays

The main issue with grants, both vehicle and charging, is that the current market means there can be long delays between ordering a vehicle and actual vehicle delivery.

With an ever shifting situation, clarity is difficult, but having consulted industry organisation BVRLA, what has happened in the past is that, so long as the paperwork has been filed correctly and in time, the vehicle grants will likely be honoured at the rate when the car or van was ordered.

Charge point grants are less certain, since these tend to require an order or arrival of an electric vehicle to be able to process the grant itself. As such, a delay in the vehicle arriving could see grants change or be removed entirely, depending on circumstances.

Here, it is advisable to consult with an installer, and arrange an installation as soon as possible after a vehicle order is made to ensure the current grant – whatever it is at that time – has the greatest chance of being met.

If you need further advice or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our EV specialist leasing executives on 01299 407 360.

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