Government slashes hybrid vehicle subsidies

Lloyd Doyle
October 14, 2018

"Seven out of 10 (69%**) of drivers say grants are necessary to buy an ultra-low emission vehicle until such time that the price compared to a conventional petrol or diesel auto is the same".

Motoring groups heavily criticized the cuts, stating that the lowering, as well as wholly cutting of the subsidies would undermine one of the few parts of the automobile market, which is now growing healthily.

The Government is facing criticism from the automotive industry for its decision to scrap the plug-in hybrid vehicle grant.

"With plug-in hybrid models like the Mitsubishi Outlander becoming popular among consumers the government is focussing its attention to zero emission models such as the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3", the government said in a statement.

By way of consolation, the government statement says "These vehicles will continue to receive support through lower auto tax rates, grants for charging infrastructure and local incentives (such as free parking)".

The government says "plug-in hybrid vehicles are among the cleanest on the road, and can deliver significant Carbon dioxide savings compared to petrol/diesel cars".

In an announcement yesterday (11 October), the Department for Transport and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, noted that over the last seven years, the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) has provided a discount to the price of over 160,000 new ultra-low emission cars.

Currently, vehicle emissions are broken down into several categories.

He added: "With up-front costs still a huge barrier for those hoping to switch to an electric vehicle, this move from the government is a big step backwards and is in stark contrast to countries like Norway where generous tax incentives have meant that it has one of the highest ownership levels of ultra-low-emission vehicles of anywhere in the world".

Quoted in Fleet News, ACFO chairman John Pryor said: "The Government's decision to reduce financial support for plug-in vehicles is, quite frankly bonkers".

From November 9, buyers of plug-in hybrids will no longer receive any subsidy towards the price of a new hybrid vehicle.

Up to the end of August, 8,980 pure EVs had been registered, compared with 9,030 in the first eight months of 2018 - a fall of 0.6%.

However, the move has been met with criticism by motoring groups.

Last year, 53,203 new ULEVs were registered in the United Kingdom, up 27% from 41,837 units in 2016.

Mitsubishi, which has seen the plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander SUV become the brand's Uk best seller, described the decision as extremely disappointing.

Hawes said PHEVs made up less than 2 percent of the United Kingdom auto market, and noted that "as we've seen in other markets, prematurely removing upfront purchase grants can have a devastating impact on demand". Mitsubishi has expressed its "surprise and disappointment" at the decision, saying it said was "completely at odds" with the objective of making the United Kingdom a world leader in green mobility.

Given that there are now no plug-in hybrid vehicles on sale that meet the category 1 criteria, only fully electric cars such as the new Jaguar I-Pace, the Tesla line-up and the upcoming Audi E-tron will be eligible for discounts.

"Retailers are working hard to clarify a number of issues affecting our sector, especially regarding emissions and fuel types".

"We call on the Government to continue to listen to retailers' concerns and work alongside the industry".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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