Fiat takes aim at ‘sleepwalking’ UK government with country ‘on the cusp of an EV crisis’

  • Fiat reacts to the government’s refusal to reintroduce grants for electric cars
  • Tories rejected a raft of proposals put forward by a House of Lords report into EVs
  • Italian brand says the UK is ‘well and truly on the cusp of a crisis’

Time 8:44 am, April 24, 2024

Fiat has slammed the government’s decision to ignore suggestions made in a House of Lords report into EVs and says the UK is on the cusp of an ‘electric vehicle crisis’.

Car Dealer reported last week that the Tories have rejected a wide range of proposals to accelerate the take-up of electric cars, which included the re-introduction of the electric car grant.

The suggestions were made in a wide-ranging report written by the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee, which outlined what is needed to help the transition to electric cars and allow the government to hit its eco ambitious targets.

Also among the recommendations in the report, entitled EV Strategy: Rapid Recharge Needed, the levelling out the VAT difference between public and home charging.

However, ministers decided against the approach, sparking a strongly worded statement from Fiat.

The Italian brand has accused the government of ‘sleepwalking’ over EVs and says that the UK is now ‘well and truly on the cusp’ of a crisis.

It added that cost remained the biggest barrier for entry when it comes to buying an EV and called for more state assistance.

A spokesman said: ‘Fiat has previously said the government is sleepwalking into an electric vehicle crisis.

‘With confirmation that no electric car grant is going to be reintroduced, we would say the government is now well and truly on the cusp of that crisis.

‘Half a million electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were registered during 2023, which is fantastic news. But the EV market for private buyers is in real jeopardy, accounting for fewer than one in five (18.2%) new electric cars registered in 2024.

‘The government says it is targeting its incentives where they have the most impact and deliver the greatest value for money.’

The Stellantis-owned brand currently offers a £3,000 discount – named the Fiat E-Grant – on all electric vehicles in its range.

It has now pledged to continue the offering amid a lack of support from the government.

The spokesman added: ‘Whilst we welcome that there is an incentive in place for electric van buyers, we know the biggest barrier to entry for a retail electric car buyer is price.

‘Surely, then, the greatest impact would be to address this by helping to reduce the upfront cost of the car, via the reintroduction of a government grant.

‘Fiat is playing its part in that with the continuation its own £3,000 grant – the Fiat E-Grant on all electric models in its range.

‘Helping people make the switch to electric also supports the government’s Net Zero targets – targets we fully support.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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