Electric car prices set to rise as government grants could be cut

Budget cuts could see the grants offered when buying full EVs drop, and disappear altogether for many plug-in hybrids

Many of the government’s green initiatives, including the low emissions vehicle grants, are expected to be reduced or removed altogether as a result of budget cuts.

In a story broken by The Observer, many of the financial incentives currently offered to buyers of low emission vehicles could be forced to fall by the wayside unless the Treasury is able to source emergency funding for the scheme.

• Best plug-in hybrid cars available

The current plug-in grant offers a £4,500 contribution towards cars which emit less than 50g/km and can cover up to 70 miles emissions-free, and £2,500 for cars which emit less than 50g/km and can cover at least 10 miles in EV mode. Under the proposals, the larger grant will drop to £3,500, while the lower grant will be removed altogether.

Furthermore, it is possible that a cap will be implemented based on the total value of the car. Should this go through, fully electric cars priced at £60,000 and above would no longer be eligible, ruling out the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model S.

• What is the UK plug-in grant?

The changes bring obvious concerns to the UK’s green credentials. At a time when the government plans to ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol-powered cars by 2040, any drop in incentives for the public to switch buying habits is not encouraging.

It comes at a time when the proportion of alternative fuel vehicles sales relative to the market as a whole are on the increase in the UK. Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders shows that a total of 40,410 cars eligible for the plug-in grant have been sold in the first nine months of 2018 – a 23.2 per cent increase on 2017.

Click here for our list of the best electric cars on sale right now…

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