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SMMT slams government decision to slash plug-in car and van grants

  • SMMT criticises government decision to slash plug-in car and van grants
  • Trade body says grants should be doubled rather than cut
  • Fears that UK drivers could be ‘left behind’ as industry moves towards EVs

Time 8:10 am, December 16, 2021

The SMMT has slammed the decision to slash the plug in car grant and called on the government to double incentives rather than cut them.

Car Dealer reported on Wednesday that Boris Johnson’s under pressure government had decided to slash its plug-in car and van grants and changed the eligibility criteria.

The grant has been lowered from £2,500 to £1,500 with the eligibility lowered from £35,000 to £32,000.

It was an announcement that was met with widespread criticism from dealers with the SMMT among those to take aim.

Speaking about the change, Mike Hawes, the trade body’s chief executive, rounded on the government.

He said the decision left the UK at risk of being ‘left behind’ as the industry looks towards a future based around electric vehicles.

Hawes said: ‘Slashing the grants for electric vehicles once again is a blow to customers looking to make the switch and couldn’t come at a worse time, with inflation at a ten-year high and pandemic-related economic uncertainty looming large.

‘Industry and government ambition for decarbonised road transport is high, and manufacturers are delivering ever more products with ever better performance.

‘But we need to move the market even faster – from one in a hundred cars on the road being electric, to potentially one in three in just eight years – which means we should be doubling down on incentives.

‘Other global markets are already doing so whereas we are cutting, expecting the industry to subsidise the transition, and putting up prices for customers.

‘UK drivers risk being left behind on the transition to zero-emission motoring.’

Yesterday, Car Dealer revealed a list of vehicles that will no longer be eligible for the grant.

Models include the BMW i3, the Citroen e-C4 and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric.

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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