In a newly extended government scheme set to last two years, plug-in van and truck grants will continue to drive forward our goal of switching to electric. It’s suspected that this will increase the purchases of green vans and trucks into the tens of thousands. In going green, it’s hoped that it will make the UK reduce the 5% of CO2 emissions currently emitted by vans, thus making us less reliant on foreign oil, and securing our grip on our energy supplies.
In the past 12 months alone, figures have revealed that the UK has the highest number of plug-in electric vans sold in Europe and our grant applications were 4 times higher than two years ago. Since its launch ten years ago, the programme has allowed the UK population to buy more than 26,000 electric vans and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
It’s expected that the 2-year extension, along with supporting the ongoing switch to greener vehicles, is essential to the government’s commitments to climate change and air quality goals. “This ministry is committed when it comes to going green. By extending these grants, we’re supporting a generation of green growth for our bustling fleet sector,” said the Transport Minister, Trudy Harrison. With a market that now offers more than 30 models of electric vans and trucks, it’s been shown that these grants are working to kickstart market demand.
As electric vehicles become more popular and affordable, they will allow their owners to enjoy lower running costs. “£2.5 billion has been pledged to vehicle grants and chargepoint infrastructure to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles to date,” Harrison confesses, “Government schemes have also allowed consumers to purchase over 450,000 ultra-low emission vehicles across the UK – 300,000 of them with no emission at all.” The transport ministry has declared its intent to continue to allow drivers to operate HGVs at a higher weight limit of 4.25 tonnes with only a standard car driving licence (compared to a 3.5 tonne limit for vans).
This is due to the additional weight of the batteries electric vehicles need to charge – making it all the easier for drivers and businesses to switch. Along with this extension also comes with an overhaul of the eligibility criteria for existing plug-in vehicle grants from next spring onwards, to “ensure the funds are being distributed efficienty” The threshold to claim the small truck grant of up to £16,000 will be increased from 3.5 tonnes to 4.25 tonnes.
For vans of the same weight (4.25 tonnes), the claim can be up to £5,000. Heavier and more costly trucks, up to 12 tonnes, are to also benefit from higher grant funding. These changes are coming into effect on April 1st 2022 and are aimed at ensuring the funding is focused on helping make the switch to a zero-emission future easier than ever.