The plug-in vehicle grant scheme which offers motorists up to £5,000 as an added incentive to buying a new electric car has been extended. The government funded scheme will now continue to operate until February 2016.
The Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) first introduced the plug-in vehicle grant scheme in 2010 to offer an incentive for buyers of electric vehicles. The scheme was previously set to run until 50,000 new electric vehicles had been sold in the UK, after this mark the scheme was due to be reviewed.
Reports have shown the sale of electric vehicles have been rising rapidly with further advancements in low carbon propulsion technology. The UK was announced the largest consumer of electric vehicles in Europe in reports released earlier this year. In the first quarter of 2015 9,046 ULEVs were registered which represents an increase of 366% from the figure of 1,941 in the same quarter in 2014.
Due to this rapid increase of electric vehicle sales in the past year, which has pushed the total amount of electric vehicles purchased in the UK to around 40,000, has led to suggestions that the 50,000 limit could be met as early as November 2015.
Transport minister Andrew Jones MP said:
“I’m pleased to announce today that the government is maintaining the current levels of grant, even as we move past the milestone of 50,000 vehicles. The UK is now the fastest growing market for electric vehicles in Europe. We will continue to invest to help make this technology affordable to everyone and to secure the UK’s position as a global leader.”
The future of the electric vehicle grant will be decided in the future closer to the February deadline according to OLEV and the government backed campaign Go Ultra Low.
Hetal Shah, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Continuing the Plug-in Car Grant at current levels is positive news for everyone, as it encourages zero-emission motoring and secures more funding for a greater number of ULEV buyers. This announcement demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting the growth of the ULEV market. If we are to meet ambitious targets for ULEV uptake, continued investment is paramount.”