The government has hinted that grants to encourage people to buy EVs could soon be scrapped altogether.
Rachel Maclean, minister for the future of transport and decarbonisation admitted the availability of the plug-in car grant was being kept ‘under review’.
Boris Johnson’s government has already slashed the grant this year in a move that shocked the motoring industry.
In March it was announced the subsidy amount would be cut by £500 to £2,500 and that only vehicles prices up to £35,000 would be eligible – down from £50,000.
Now, officials have hinted they could go even further and remove assistance entirely.
Maclean said it was right to ‘keep on looking’ at the availability of the plug-in car grant to make sure government money is not spend to help people who don’t need it.
Speaking to AutoCar, Maclean said: ‘I think it’s right to keep on looking at that because ultimately we need to make sure we’re not using government money to help people buy cars who could have afforded them anyway.
‘One of our concerns is to make this an equitable transition for everyone, and of course at the moment electric cars are a bit more expensive – although if you factor in the overall cost of ownership, they will be on a parity soon.’
The news comes as the government’s targeted ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 draws ever closer.
Maclean, who drives a Jaguar I-Pace, admits a huge amount of work is still needed to improve the UK’s EV infrastructure.
She said: ‘I’m aware that more needs to be done.
‘The conversations have pivoted from the upfront cost of an EV to “well, if I buy an EV, I can’t charge it” or “the chargers are broken and I need lots of apps”.
‘At the moment, there are too many charging points that aren’t working when I turn up. We need to fix that.
‘We need to see a big change there.’
She added: ‘We’re going to be laying new legislation about the requirements we’re going to put on operators later this year.
‘We’re going to require them to have contactless payment, share data, be transparent about costs and sign up to a reliability standard.
‘It can’t just be for people who can afford a Tesla and have their own driveway: it has to be feasible for everyone, whether they have a terraced house or live in a block of flats, or whether they have to drive to work to charge.
‘Our vision is to make it as easy as filling up with petrol.
‘I think it will take a while. People often look at it and say “well, it isn’t there now”.
‘It’s not, but it’s a new market, and any new market with infrastructure like this is going to take a bit of time to roll out for it to become a reality.’
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