Industry Bosses Critical Of Grant Axe

Tue 21st Jun 2022

After the government abruptly called an end on the Plug-In Car Grant, some of the motoring industry’s leading voices have criticised the move, saying that it sends out the wrong message.

The incentive, which saw a £1,500 discount on all new EVs under £32,000 was pulled last week, and though many predicted that the scheme was coming to an end, few expected it so suddenly.

The move even appears to have taken the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders unawares, with the organisation’s Chief Executive, Mike Hawes questioning why the UK is now the only European country to have no incentives.

“The decision to scrap the plug-in car grant sends the wrong message to motorists and to an industry which remains committed to Government’s net zero ambition,” said Hawes.

“Whilst we welcome government’s continued support for new electric van, taxi and adapted vehicle buyers, we are now the only major European market to have zero upfront purchase incentives for EV car buyers yet the most ambitious plans for uptake.

“With the sector not yet in recovery, and all manufacturers about to be mandated to sell significantly more EVs than current demand indicates, this decision comes at the worst possible time.

“If we are to have any chance of hitting targets, government must use these savings and compel massive investment in the charging network, at rapid pace and at a scale beyond anything so far announced.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Kia, one of the biggest brands in the UK has said that the PiCG scheme had boosted the transition to EVs.

“For Kia it complemented the increase of our electrified sales mix, where we now achieve strong sales of our industry leading electrified products. In 2022, around 18% of our sales year-to-date are fully electric vehicles,” the spokesperson said.

“Whilst the plug-in car grant was an important chapter in transitioning to electric power, greater focus should now be placed on ensuring the UK public charging infrastructure is suitable to meet the 2030 and 2035 government powertrain regulations.”