Time running out for electric car discount

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electric car charging

If you're thinking about making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV), you may want to make a decision sooner rather than later, as cash set aside for a government EV grant is quickly running out.

Since 2011, car buyers opting to the cleanest plug-in hybrid and fully electric cars were eligible for £5,000 contribution towards the purchase price, which made expensive early models more appealing.

Now, however, an increase in EV uptake is occurring, with cheaper models arriving in showrooms. In the first five months of 2015, 11,842 electric cars were sold in the UK - a four-fold increase on the same period the year before.

The boost in sales has brought the government's 50,000-grant cap closer. Currently around 36,000 grants have been awarded, according to the Guardian, and should sales continue at the rate they are now, the remainder could run out before the end of the year.

Currently, Britain's most popular plug-in car is the Mitsubishi Outland PHEV – a plug-in hybrid that does away with the range anxiety experienced by battery EV users, as it's also fitted with a conventional combustion engine. It is just one of 35 electric models now available.

Despite the grant, prices for EVs are generally higher than their petrol and diesel counterparts, though buyers enjoy a number of other benefits due to their ultra-low CO2 emissions, including vehicle tax and London congestion charge exemption. Running costs are also greatly reduced, with the average electric car able to cover around 100 miles on £2-£3 of electricity.

Have you made the switch to electric motoring? Would you have done without the government EV grant? Have your say in the comments section below.