Could Electric Car Prices Be Set To Rise?

Tue 9th Oct 2018

The cost of owning an electric car could rise significantly over the next few years if the UK government goes ahead with plans to axe grants for low-emission vehicles.

Under current guidelines, consumers can be given a discount of up to £4,500 when they purchase a vehicle under the ‘plug-in grant’, but The Observer newspaper is quoting senior government insiders as saying the subsidies could be cut.

New proposals could see the upper limit reduced to £3,500, with the grant for hybrid plug-ins removed altogether. Another consideration is to cap the figure at £60,000 meaning any cars sold above that limit would be ineligible for a grant.

The cuts were hinted at in the Road to Zero strategy which was released by the Government in July, which stated that the need for direct government financial support would decrease as the EV market becomes more established.

One in every twelve cars sold in the UK is now an electric vehicle, with EVs making up 8% of the overall market, an increase of 23% on the previous year.

Speaking to The Observer, a Department of Transport spokesperson said: “The Road to Zero Strategy sets out a clear path for the country to be a world leader in the clean transport revolution, including continuing to ensure the tax system incentivises the purchase of the cleanest vehicles.

“We have already supported the purchase of more than 150,000 ultra-low-emission vehicles and offer a range of infrastructure incentives as part of our nearly £1.5bn investment to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles. We will continue the plug-in grant until at least 2020, and keep the rates under constant review.”