£5,000 plug-in car grant to run to end of year

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Electric cars plug-in car grant

The Government's 'Plug-In Car Grant' – which gives electric car buyers up to £5,000 or 35 per cent off the purchase price of a new car – is set to finish at the end of 2015.

This scheme, which helps to offset some of the price premium of new ultra-low emission vehicles (including all fully electric cars), was first introduced back in 2011, the year the Nissan Leaf – the bestselling electric car to date – came on to the market and aimed to encourage more drivers to move away from conventional petrol and diesel models.

Following questioning from the leasing trade body, the BVLRA, the Government has now confirmed that a further £200 million has been set aside to provide grants for ultra-low emissions machines from 2015 to 2020. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) also informed the trade organisation that the current system – which applies to vehicles that emit less than 75g/km of CO2 – will continue to run until the current scheme comes to an end, reports Motoring Research, though the exact date is yet to be confirmed.

As a result, buyers with cars on order that haven't yet been delivered will still be able to benefit from the £5,000 discount, for up to nine months after the end of the current Plug-In Car Grant. Thanks to the increased public acceptance of electric cars, the number of ultra-low emissions machines sold from January to May 2015 jumped fourfold over the same period last year – from 2,838 to 11,842 units – with buyers now able to choose from 20 qualifying cars, compared to just six last year.

This growth in ultra-low emission vehicle sales is expected to continue, with chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes, saying: "The remarkable growth in demand for plug-in vehicles is expected to continue as the range of ultra-low emission vehicles on sale increases."

The next incarnation of the Plug-In Car Grant is set to feature three bands – one for machines that emit less than 50g/km of CO2 and can travel at least 70 miles with zero emissions, a second for those that can cover between 10 and 69 miles and a third for vehicles emitting between 50 and 75g/km with zero emission range of more than 20 miles.