The government is extending the Plug-in Van and Truck Grants for a further two years, meaning fleets looking to buy courier or delivery vans can obtain electric vehicles at discounted prices until at least 2024-25.
But there is no news about extending the grant for cars, leading to speculation that the success of EV sales means the government might drop the scheme.
Announcing the move, the DfT said: “This aims to give certainty to fleets and vanmakers, supporting the still early market for zero emission vans and trucks. Plug-in van grant orders in 2021 were over 250% higher than in 2020, and the extension of the grant will support the continuation of this increased uptake.”
The move follows last year’s cut to plug-in grants on both electric cars and vans, which saw funding for small vans fall further to a maximum of £2,500, from the £3,000 level implemented in the spring 2021. For large vans it fell to £5,000 from £8,000.
The DfT also said it was changing the eligibility criteria for the Plug in Vehicle Grant from April 1, 2022. Larger vans between 3.5 and 4.25 tonnes would be recategorized as large vans (qualifying for a £5,000 grant) rather than small trucks (up to £16,000 grant, 250 limit per year).
The government will continue to allow drivers with standard car driving licences to drive electric goods vans at a higher weight limit, up to 4.25 tonnes, compared to a 3.5-tonne limit for diesel vans. The change allows for the extra weight of the battery pack.
The DfT said: “Today’s announcement is to reassure fleets that we have no plans to end this flexibility when it comes up for a five-year review next year. Rather, we are considering how to optimise the rules to support the emerging zero emissions van market. This will support our plans for all new vans to be fully zero emission by 2035.”