Half of EVs still eligible for Plug-in Car Grant despite cut to threshold

In March this year, the government reduced the Plug-in Car Grant by £500 to £2,500 for cars priced £35,000 (previously £50,000). However, despite the cut to the Plug-in Car Grant by the government, more than half of the current electric vehicle (EV) models are still eligible for the grant.

Katie Hickford, Analyst at Cornwall Insight, said:

“It is good to see that despite the reduction to the threshold, a large majority of EVs on the market still qualify for a grant, albeit at a reduction. Although this is the case, there was clearly some concerns about the effect of the reduction, with the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT) showing plug-in hybrid (PHEV) sales unusually higher than Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) registrations in April.

“The latest SMMT data saw EV sales broadly follow the trend seen in recent months, accounting for just over one in eight vehicles, or 13.2% of new vehicle registrations in April 2021. However, 9,152 BEVs were registered in April compared to 9,600 PHEVs. In terms of share, PHEVs took 6.8% of all new car registrations compared to 6.5% for BEVs. The SMMT now expects BEVs to account for 8.9% of registrations by year-end – down from the 9.3% initially forecast in light of March’s changes to the Plug-in Car Grant.

“The announcement came into force immediately on 18 March to avoid a rush ahead of the grant change, which was experienced in March 2020. The government stated the changes meant funding will last longer and be available to more drivers, adding that higher-priced vehicles are typically bought by drivers who can afford to switch without a subsidy from taxpayers.

“Despite the March 2021 cut, the government stated that more than half of current EV models are still eligible for the grant, with manufacturers such as Peugeot, Kia, Hyundai, Vauxhall, Citroen, MG Motor, Nissan and BMW reducing prices to below the £35,000 threshold.

“The SMMT data also showed that 40,931 BEVs and 36,213 PHEVs were registered in the year to date (YTD), with over 22,000 BEVs and 17,000 PHEVs registered in March alone setting new records for both. A rising number of EV models has helped drive this growth which is a positive sign of things to come as manufacturers continue to expand the range of EVs available for consumers.”


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact: Charlotte Nelson at c.nelson@cornwall-insight.com or 01603 542 121.

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