Economy

Green grants for hybrid cars axed

Green grants for hybrid cars axed”

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised auto and commercial vehicle retailers in the United Kingdom, said: "It is extremely disappointing to see that the government has chose to remove the grants for plug-in hybrids and cut those for electric cars, which, in the short term, can undermine the progress made so far in the development of the low emission vehicles sector".

Currently, you can get a grant of up to £2,500 for Category 2 (CO2 under 50g/km and EV range of 10-69 miles) and Category 3 hybrids (CO2 50-75g/km and range of at least 20 miles), and a grant of £4,500 for a Category 1 vehicle with Carbon dioxide under 50g/km and a range of at least 70 miles (really, only EVs).

Meanwhile, vehicles that release up to 75g/km of Carbon dioxide but with a lower zero-emission range will no longer be eligible for any subsidies at all.

As no plug-in hybrid auto that's now on sale in the United Kingdom matches this criteria, new vehicle buyers who wish to make use of the PICG will need to purchase an eligible vehicle within the next four weeks.

The Government is facing criticism from the automotive industry for its decision to scrap the plug-in hybrid vehicle grant.

In a statement, Mitsubishi (the maker of the UK's best-selling plug-in hybrid, the Outlander PHEV) said: "As motorists seek a low-emission, fuel efficient alternative to diesel vehicles, now should be the ideal time for the Government to incentivise Plug-in hybrid technology, not pull its support".

From 9th November new plug-in hybrid cars will no longer qualify for any form of Government assistance, instantly adding £2,500 to the cost of such vehicles.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles will no longer be eligible for a grant from the government of the United Kingdom, while EVs will have their grant reduced.

Industry body the Society of motor Manufacturers & Traders led the criticism, arguing that the move would have far-reaching consequences for consumers, the environment and industry.

"Seven out of 10 (69%**) of drivers say grants are necessary to buy an ultra-low emission vehicle until such time that the price compared to a conventional petrol or diesel auto is the same".

Hawes said PHEVs made up less than 2 percent of the United Kingdom auto market, and noted that "as we've seen in other markets, prematurely removing upfront purchase grants can have a devastating impact on demand".

The government said the cut in the support for Category 1 cars to £3,500 reflected recent reductions in the price of electric vehicles.

"Prematurely removing up-front purchase grants can have a devastating impact on demand - without world-class incentives, government's world-class ambitions will not be delivered", said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.

The motoring organisation's head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: "The reduction of the plug-in auto grant is a major blow to anyone hoping to go green with their next vehicle choice, and it makes little sense when we need to focus our efforts on lowering emissions from vehicles".

The move has been labelled as "a big step backwards" by the RAC and a major blow to anyone hoping to go green with their next vehicle choice. As no PHEV currently on sale in Britain meets this standard - most can travel only around 30-miles - the grant effectively now only benefits buyers of pure-electric cars.



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