The UK Government has altered the offering for its plug-in car grant again so it now provides electric car buyers only £1,500 when they purchase vehicles priced up to £32,000. Not only is that a reduction of £1,000 in grant money, but also a reduction of £3,000 in new car price cap. Oh, and hybrid vehicles are no longer eligible. Bear in mind the original grant offering back in 2010 was £3,500 on every new electric or hybrid vehicle, no matter its value. Many new prospective plug-in car buyers might feel the pinch in these times, put it that way.
But, to be fair, the world we live in today is very different to that of 10 years ago (in automotive terms…let’s not open that can of worms). 10% of new car sales in the UK are now for electric vehicles – and the selection of models on offer is considerably more vast than it was even five years ago. See our new BMW iX video here as an example of another newcomer; or the preceding EV range test video we did here for more popular examples. It seems EVs are growing in popularity naturally, and not just because of a government grant.
Still, for those considering a switch to part- or all-battery power, you might think this grant tweak might somewhat reduce the appeal of a new electric car. Thankfully, there’s a healthy supply of electric cars on the used market – at the time of writing, we have over 230 EVs in the cinch digital showroom – ranging from the ultra-quick Tesla Model S, the practical Kia e-Niro and the cute Honda e, with dozens of alternatives in between. We also have over 270 hybrids, so you’re not exactly short of choice or supply. You certainly won’t need to worry about grants.
You could easily argue that the march of the electric vehicle is inevitable whether the government supports sales with a grant or not, because of the UK Government’s 2030 end date for the sale of new purely petrol- or diesel-powered cars. But there’s a chance that, in the short term at least, the growth in new electric car sales might slow in pace with these latest grant changes. Which would be a shame, because if our recent drives in the hottest new EVs – like the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT and the much smaller but equally as lovable Peugeot e-208 – shows us anything, it’s just how brilliantly capable they are.