More than three-quarters of UK car buyers disagree with government changes to the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) incentive scheme, new research has found.
What Car? quizzed 2,456 in-market car buyers of which 79 per cent said they disagreed with the cuts to the scheme.
Last week, the government announced a cut in the grant available to customers purchasing fully electric cars, from £3,000 to £2,500, with electric vehicles costing more than £35,000 no longer eligible.
The incentive scheme was introduced in 2011 to encourage both motorists and vehicle manufacturers to make the change to electric power, by making these models more affordable to buy.
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The What Car? study also found 50 per cent of all potential electric car buyers said they are now less likely to buy an electric vehicle following changes to the grant.
When asked how important the grant is in influencing their purchase decision, two-thirds of prospective EV buyers defined the grant as ‘very important’.
Changes to the PiCG scheme raises questions over the government’s commitment to a greener future, said What Car?.
Last year, it announced a 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, which included ‘accelerating the shift to zero emissions vehicles’.
However, 62 per cent of the in-market buyers What Car? quizzed believe recent changes to the PiCG show the government is not committed to a green future.
The research also found 56 per cent would have preferred for the government to raise fuel duty rather than cut the PiCG, with fuel duty remaining frozen for the 11th year running following the March 2021 Budget.
Steve Huntingford, editor at What Car?, said: ‘The government’s decision to cut the Plug-in Car Grant came as a complete surprise to many last week, and our latest research shows the vast majority of the public disagree with the move.
‘Although there are now more electric vehicles on the market than ever before, at a wide range of price points, their cost remains a barrier to entry for many, and the grant has been instrumental in encouraging motorists to make the switch.
‘Our research suggests that cutting the grant and introducing a new list price limit of £35,000 will result in many potential EV buyers delaying their purchase.’
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