Immediate changes to the plug-in car grant may not be such a bad thing, according to some.
In a move that blindsided the industry, the government yesterday (Mar 18) announced the grant will be cut by £500 to £2,500 and will only be available on vehicles costing less than £35,000.
While many dealers questioned the change, others have today claimed it does make sense.
Models that will still qualify for the government subsidy include the Citroen C4, Fiat 500 Electric and Honda E.
The likes of the MG5, Mini Electric and Mazda MX-30 will also continue to be eligible.
Robin Luscombe, managing director of Luscombe Motors in Leeds, said the taxpayer shouldn’t be expected to subsidise vehicles costing more than £35,000.
‘Politicians do have common sense! In my opinion, it is a very sensible and justifiable decision.
‘Do we really in all honesty expect the taxpayer to subsidise the price of a car over £35,000? It’s hardly fair to the whole population.
‘Motorists have substantial tax advantages when buying an EV, not to mention the fact that they are really good cars.
‘They help improve air quality and save drivers a fortune in fuel and servicing costs.
‘I for one fully support the decision. It’s just what a fair administration should do – help everyone, not just the chosen few, and give support to those who need it most.’
- Car dealers shocked at changes to electric car grant that will see more than 20 models no longer qualify
Digital marketing podcaster Andy Poulton added: ‘The country is in a fiscal crisis, so chopping £500 from the grant and focusing on cars for the majority rather than gifting the more wealthy is an acceptable idea.
‘Most people buying on PCP won’t notice the difference – it’s £10 a month.’
Other EVs that remain eligible for the grant include the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Seat Mii Electric.
Despite support from some quarters, though, reaction from elsewhere has continued to be mixed.
Some dealers raised concerns about what will happen to consumers who already have finance arrangements in place.
However, Mike Brewer Motors has promised that all existing packages will be honoured and prices won’t be hiked.
A spokesman for the Sheffield-based garage, said: ‘As long as all orders are already on the register for the grant then they will be honoured.
‘There is also a 28-day grace period for orders taken but not yet added to the register as long as it can be evidenced that the order had been taken.’
Despite that, there remained anger today, with some experts feeling the changes shouldn’t have been brought in.
Steve Fowler, editor-in-chief of Auto Express, tweeted: ‘The government has kicked the car industry and car buyers squarely in the guts. Ludicrous. So angry. I thought it was April 1. This is a bad, bad move.’
Jay Ward, Ford of Europe’s director of product communications, added: ‘Total and utter stupidity from a government that knows nothing about transportation.
‘We plough on with the ridiculous HS2 while reducing the stimulus package for BEVs. All they have to do is look at Norway to know how to do this properly! Muppets.’
The full list of cars that will continue to be eligible for the grant is as follows:
Citroen C4 (excluding Shine Plus)
Fiat 500 Electric
Hyundai Kona Electric 39kWh
Hyundai Ioniq Electric (Premium SE excluded)
Kia e-Niro 39kWh
MG ZS EV
Nissan Leaf 40kWh
Peugeot e-2008 (only Active Premium and Allure)
Seat Mii Electric
Smart EQ Fortwo
Smart EQ Forfour
Skoda Enyaq (60 Lodge and 60 Lounge only)
Vauxhall Mokka-e (SE Nav Premium only)
Volkswagen ID.3 (Life only)
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