UK electric vehicle grants & initiatives

Changes to the UK Plug-in Car Grant

The plug-in car grant (PiCG) scheme was launched in 2011. Its purpose was to reduce the cost of buying or leasing an electric car.

The PiCG was always a temporary initiative, with government funding only made available until 2022/2023.

Reductions in the size of the grant, and the choice of vehicles available to purchase under it, had minimal impact on rapidly increasing sales, or on the ever-growing range of electric vehicle models being manufactured.

As a result, the existing scheme was closed to new orders from 14 June 2022, after supporting the sale of almost half a million electric cars.

The UK government is now committed to refocusing funding to tackle some of the key barriers to achieving successful EV transition. The new objectives include:

  • Expanding the public chargepoint network. £1.6billion has already been invested in the UK’s public chargepoint network, with further investment planned.

  • Supporting the purchase of eight different types of plug-in vehicle, including low-emission electric vans, motorcycles, and wheelchair-accessible vehicles (such as minibuses).

It is hoped that the new plans will make it easier and cheaper for businesses and individuals to achieve zero emission travel.

Battery and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) account for over 50% of all new cars sold, while sales of fully electric cars have increased by 70% during the past year. 1 in 6 cars being driven on UK roads is an electric car.

Read on to learn more about the latest government initiatives to help you save money when you buy or lease an electric or plug-in vehicle. 

Government discount for brand-new low-emission vehicles in 2022

Certain brand-new low-emission vehicles will be available at a discounted price, through a grant the government pays to vehicle manufacturers and dealerships.

If you are considering buying or leasing one of these vehicles, there is no special process to follow. The price you pay to buy or lease the vehicle will reflect the value of the grant.

Eight vehicle categories are included in the scheme:

  • Small trucks

  • Large trucks

  • Taxis

  • Small vans

  • Large vans

  • Motorcycles

  • Mopeds

  • Wheelchair-accessible vehicles

A full list of eligible vehicles is available on the government website.

Rivervale Leasing offers lease deals for a number of eligible vehicles, including small vans, large vans, and minibuses.

When leasing an eligible vehicle, instead of the value of the grant being deducted as a single lump sum, your savings will be spread out across the term of the lease. For example, if you choose a vehicle that is eligible for a grant of £2,500, and you choose a 36-month lease deal, you could save approximately £83 per month.

The value of the grant available will vary according to which category your preferred vehicle falls into. The grant does not cover all low-emission vehicles; it is only available for vehicles approved by the government.

Small vans

Eligible vehicles in the ‘small vans’ category have a gross vehicle weight of under 2,500 kilograms, co2 emissions below 50g/km, and can travel a minimum distance of 96km (60 miles) without emissions.

The following vehicles are eligible in the small vans category:

The grant can be used to pay for 35% of the purchase price for a small van, up to a maximum total grant of £2,500. Businesses are entitled to receive a maximum of 1000 plug-in van and truck grants per year. The limit resets on 1 April each year.

Large vans

Vehicles in this category have a gross vehicle weight between 2,500kg and 4,250kg, co2 emissions below 50g/km, and are able to travel a minimum distance of 96km (60 miles) without emissions.

The following vehicles are eligible in the large vans category:

The grant can be used to pay 35% of the total purchase price, up to a maximum ceiling of £5,000.

Businesses and organisations will be entitled to claim up to 1000 plug-in van and truck grants every year. This allowance resets on 1 April each year.

What are the benefits of running an electric vehicle?

Driving an electric vehicle often leads to significant savings when compared with petrol or diesel counterparts, and the savings are often higher than the current value of the grants. What’s more, electric vehicle drivers enjoy generous incentives, including lower company car tax rates, and zero road tax, which could save more than £2,000 per year.

Aside from lower running and refuelling costs (as low as just 2p per mile), a steady increase in cheaper, faster, and more reliable public charge points. The government has committed to installing 10 percent more EV chargers on public streets by 2030.

The motor industry has also taken steps to encourage drivers to choose greener vehicles. More than 20 different zero emission cars are available for under £32,000. What’s more, the cost of signing up for monthly purchase schemes and lease deals has dropped significantly.

To learn more, check out the EV hub, and read our guide on costs to maintain your electric vehicle.

What is the Workplace Charging Scheme?

Another government scheme offered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). Designed to make EV owners’ lives easier, it reduces the cost of purchasing and installing a single socket charging station at by work by 75% (with a maximum cap of £350 per socket).

What are the benefits of the Workplace Charging Scheme?

  • Available to any business, including charities and public bodies

  • Claim for up to 40 charging points

  • Save over £1000 per year in employee fuel costs across 10,000 miles

  • Reduce benefit-in-kind tax for company cars

  • Achieve sustainability goals (here’s why electric cars are better for the environment)

How do I apply for the WCS?

You can apply for the WCS here.

What is the EV chargepoint grant?

The EV chargepoint grant replaced the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), which was closed to new applicants on 31 March 2022. If you have already submitted an application for the EVHS and your case is under review, you don’t need to submit a new application under the new EV chargepoint grant scheme. The EVHS is still open to resubmissions until 31 March 2023.

The purpose of the EV chargepoint grant is to make it easier to charge an electric vehicle at home, instead of having to rely on public charge points. With the grant, you can receive a 75% contribution towards the cost of one chargepoint and the cost of installing it. There is a cap of £350 (including VAT) for each chargepoint installation.

To be eligible, you must own, lease, or have submitted an order for a qualifying vehicle (as determined by the government). You must also have allocated off-street parking at your home. You can apply for two charge points to be installed at one property, but only if you have two qualifying vehicles.

To use the scheme, you must first find a person qualified to install your EVHS chargepoint. The installer will check your details to ensure you meet the grant eligibility criteria, before applying for the grant on your behalf. The installer will send you an invoice for the price of the installation, minus the grant amount you have made an application for.

Should your grant application be approved, the installer will receive the grant funds, which will have been offset from your invoice. EVHS grant claims will be processed by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) within 30 working days.

You can find further information on the EVHS here.

Want to take advantage of the EV government incentives available to your business? Check out the growing range of eco-friendly electric and hybrid van lease offers from Rivervale Leasing.

Call us today on 01273 433480 to discuss your requirements with our knowledgeable team.

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