Electric car grant updates are ‘extremely concerning’ for drivers and families

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Experts warn the new updates “sends the wrong message to drivers” and could force many to reconsider switching to electric cars at all. They warn drivers “need these grants” to be able to afford the expensive switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric and scrapping the free money could cause issues for many.

The comments come after the Government decided to make a string of updates to its plug-in emissions grant scheme.

The grant will now only provide £2,500 worth of credit for electric vehicles with only models priced below £35,000 eligible.

However, experts have warned this could cause a range of problems for road users, especially those with larger families who need larger cars.

Mark Tongue, Director of Select Car Leasing, said the decision to cut the grant was “not in line” with the ambitious transition targets.

He said: “The plug-in car grant was first introduced in 2011 to boost the early adoption of electric vehicles.

“The cut is extremely concerning for those looking to purchase a family or more spacious car for their first EV.

“Electric technology is expensive and drivers need these grants from the Government in order to afford the change from fuel cars to electric.

“If we reduce our efforts for making electric technology affordable now, this sends the wrong message to drivers and could make many reconsider switching to electric.

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“The decision to cut this grant is not in line with the Government’s ambitious transition to zero-emission driving – we’re only at the beginning of transitioning to EV-only roads and this could be a big set back for the 2030 fuel ban.”

AutoTrader has warned there are fewer than 25 new electric car models available for under £35,000.

They warn the new updates will therefore only address a “small number of cars” and could lead to consumers having “less choice”.

However, the Department for Transport has said the new changes will ensure funding lasts longer and is available to more drivers.

They said higher-priced electric vehicles are typically bought by drivers who can afford a new car and will not rely on taxpayer-funded subsidies.

The DfT also warned the number of electric car models priced under £35,000 has increased by almost 50 percent since 2019.

They confirmed more than half of the models currently on the market will still be eligible for a grant including spacious family road cars.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said the Government would “continue to review the grant” as electric car demand continues to grow.

She said: “We want as many people as possible to be able to make the switch to electric vehicles as we look to reduce our carbon emissions, strive towards our net-zero ambitions and level up right across the UK.

“The increasing choice of new vehicles, growing demand from customers and rapidly rising number of chargepoints mean that, while the level of funding remains as high as ever, given soaring demand, we are refocusing our vehicle grants on the more affordable zero-emission vehicles – where most consumers will be looking and where taxpayers’ money will make more of a difference.

“We will continue to review the grant as the market grows.”

Express.co.uk have contacted the Department for Transport for further comment. 

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