The £5,000 incentive, available to motorists buying EVs such as the Nissan LEAF, is due for review in early 2012, but after a slow year of UK new car sales, there is concern across the automotive industry that the grant could be axed or discontinued in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Tuesday 29 November.
Only 786 EVs were sold under the grant in the first three quarters of 2011, some way short of the Government’s 8,000 unit incentive cap for the year. However, with more car manufacturers set to bring qualifying vehicles to the market over the next 12 months, and the charging network set to expand, the Plug-In Car Grant is seen as a crucial mechanism for encouraging motorists into ultra-low emissions vehicles.
“Persuading consumers to invest their time and money in new technology always presents challenges, but it’s important to provide buyers with an incentive,” comments Calvey Taylor-Haw, Managing Director of Elektromotive. “With enough money left in the pot from this year, and valuable tax revenue accrued from each EV sale, the Government could easily continue to offer the remaining fund to those joining the electric revolution in 2012.
“If the Government and the automotive industry are to convince motorists that electric vehicles are viable alternatives to petrol and diesel-powered cars, the Plug-In Car Grant will play an essential role throughout next year,” added Taylor-Haw. “Consumers are aware of the lower running costs and environmental benefits associated with electric vehicles, but cutting off the grant now could well undermine EV sales growth during the next 12 months.”
Since launching its first Elektrobay charging station, Elektromotive has developed a full range of recharging products for all types of plug-in EVs, including its Home Charger, dual-head Elektrobay, Fast Charger, rated at 400 Volts AC, and a DC-DC 50KV Rapid Charger, which is capable of charging compatible EVs to 80 per cent of their charge in just 20 minutes.