Drivers planning to switch to an electric car are being urged to get things moving as the end date for a grant to help install a home charging point gets ever closer. And separately, the grants available to assist motorists in purchasing a new electric vehicle (EV) are slowly reducing in value and could possibly end altogether in the future.
There are currently grants of up to £1,850 available for electric car customers, and they’re administered by the government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). Up to £1,500 to help buy a new electric vehicle, and up to £350 assistance with the charging box, are both on the table.
However, the grant for the charger, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), ends on 31 March, by which time the equipment must be fitted, with all claims submitted to the government by 30 April. This applies to anyone owning a property such as a house or bungalow, although it does not affect people living in a flat or rented property.
Reductions, or even terminations, of these grants should come as no surprise: the government said when it launched its first EV grant scheme – a £5,000 incentive back in 2011 – that it would not sustain the levels forever, and especially once the electric car movement took off.
EV demand up
We are clearly seeing the popularity of, and demand for, battery-powered transport go through the sunroof. Last year marked the largest ever annual increase in sales of EVs with 305,000 leaving showroom forecourts: that’s up nearly 75% on 2020’s figures.
A decade ago, motorists needed sizeable subsidies to make them even consider an EV. Today, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The original grants were put in place to encourage the EV movement, making it more viable to buy an electric car and start the push towards a cleaner environment.
But with no deceleration in sight for the electric vehicle progression, and car manufacturers actually lowering the list prices of much of their EV ranges – incentives and inducements to move over to electric, to ensure drivers are still making the switch.
Big car makers such as Vauxhall, Ford and Volkswagen have dropped the prices of their electric cars; partly because demand is rising and partly, for some models, to bring their list price down below the government’s threshold for the Plug-in Car Grant, or PiCG, which currently stands at £32,000.
Leasing is an option
If you opt for a car on salary sacrifice or lease a car, there’s no concern about having to cover the full price in one go. The PiCG applies to cars on salary sacrifice as well as bought ones, so the benefit is the same – not just to you, but to the environment too.
That’s why car benefit companies such as Tusker are happy to help you find an EV which meets your needs as a driver, particularly if you are looking for one which attracts the Government funding, because you are playing your part in lowering vehicle emissions in the UK.
Tusker actively promotes electric motoring and says that, by choosing one, you help the environment and yourself, with real financial advantages. Charging an electric car is significantly cheaper than filling up with petrol or diesel with savings of around £1,000 per year in fuel, and if you select a car that qualifies for a grant, that’s another big saving.
Benefit in Kind or company car tax on EVs is very low – just 2% from April – to support the green agenda. Using one of Tusker’s salary sacrifice schemes allows you to gain from income tax and National Insurance savings too. Savings are guaranteed until at least 2025 so even with reductions in the grants available, there are still incentives for those driving on a salary sacrifice scheme.