‘Failing’ government incentive scheme blasted as plug-in vehicle market struggles

Friday, September 13, 2013 - 11:00
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FAIL: Plug-in grants not helping

The plug-in vehicle market is continuing to struggle, with the government’s ultra-low emission incentive scheme doing little to help.

Latest registration figures show registrations of plug-in-grant-eligible cars grew by just 14% in the first half of 2013, compared to the previous six months.

The figure is less than the 17% growth achieved by the overall new car market.

Meanwhile, registrations of plug-in-grant-eligible vans actually fell by 27%, with just 119 registered in the first half of 2013 compared to the 163 registered in the second half of 2012.

Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), said: “These figures show that the current strategy for driving uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles is not working.

“The fleet market buys more than half of all new vehicles registered each year and operates the greenest cars and vans on UK roads.

“As bulk purchasers, fleet operators could create a huge surge in demand for plug-in vehicles if they were given the right package of incentives.

“Unfortunately, the current tax regime actually encourages many fleets not to run plug-in vehicles.

“The government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) recently launched its new strategy and announced that it would look to develop a ‘strong, clear and lasting’ set of tax incentives.

“This work cannot happen soon enough.”

The BVRLA have consistently campaigned for plug-in-grant vehicle users to be offered longer-term, in-use incentives.

Examples of these could include a ten-year road tax exemption, free parking and financial support when installing charging points at work premises.

Image courtesy of NCDOTcommunications, with thanks.


  1. The issue isn’t with the government or tax incentives etc. The vehicles are simply impractical for fleets. The range of these vehicles is not a solid factor that can be guaranteed on a daily basis. Speaking from experience the range can move from either the quoted maximum to less than half depending on the road conditions and weather. Fleets need consistence and reliable ranges for their vehicles and EV’s do not deliver this. Also, the charging infrastructure is completely inadequate, with only 110 rapid charging stations in the whole of the UK! You can scream and shout at the government or whoever you want for as long as you like, but this will not change the fact that the vehicles are not viable for fleets and this is reflected in the sales. What good is a van to a fleet if it needs to be charged every 50 miles? None whatsoever.


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