Press Release

BVRLA responds to Plug-in Grant announcement

Release Date: 
12/10/2018

Responding to yesterday’s announcement from the Department for Transport concerning cuts to the Plug-in Grant, BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said:

“The Government’s decision to cut the plug-in grant just months after launching the Road to Zero strategy is unbelievably short-sighted and will only serve to stifle the uptake of electric vehicles.

“This year we have already seen a significant increase in the uptake in electric vehicles. There is clearly momentum for change amongst motorists, but this has always been dependent on them being able to afford to choose an electric vehicle. The plug-in grant has been essential in supporting this growth. The BVRLA  also took a big step forwards on this front when it launched its ‘Plug-in-Pledge’ in July this year, which could supercharge the uptake of lower emission vehicles by increasing our member’s electric and hybrid plug-in fleets to 720,000 by 2025. The changes announced to the plug in grant yesterday can only serve to obstruct the achievement of this goal. 

“The removal of the plug-in grant incentive makes our calls to expedite the shift to a 2% tax rate for ULEV company cars even more crucial, as without either measure there is very little motivating motorists to choose a low emission vehicle. Only last month the Prime Minister was setting out a variety of excellent plans to stimulate the production of electric vehicles and support the implementation of additional charging infrastructure. All this good work will be for nothing if the demand side of the equation is not equally incentivised.

“Our members are facing uncertainty with a disorderly transition to these new arrangements. As around 50% of new vehicles are registered by BVRLA members every year, including approximately a third of all new electric and plug in hybrid vehicles, our members have a massive stake in this market. The Government must honour all orders made before the cut-off date of 9th November to ensure fleet operators are not unfairly penalised by yesterday’s news. We stand ready to work with OLEV to ensure this happens. 

“We are calling on the Government to rethink this decision as a matter of urgency. The plug-in grant, together with our calls for the leveraging of the company car tax within this month’s Budget, would actively encourage motorists to make less polluting vehicle choices. Not doing so puts the Road to Zero ambitions in real jeopardy.”