The Department for Transport has committed to a two year extension of the Plug-In Van and Truck Grants, in a major boost to businesses. The move is expected to support the purchase of tens of thousands of greener electric vans and trucks, and will help make the UK less reliant on imports of foreign oil.
It is hoped this will improve the security of the UK’s energy supply and reduce the “vulnerability to volatility in global energy prices”.
Last year, industry figures showed the UK had the highest number of plug-in electric vans sold in Europe, and there were around four times as many grant applications compared to 2020.
Existing grants have supported the purchase of more than 26,000 electric vans and HGVs across the UK since the program launched in 2012.
With nearly five percent of the UK’s CO2 emissions currently coming from vans, the two-year extension to these grants and the switch to greener vehicles is essential to support the Government’s climate change and air quality commitments.
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She said: “At a time when fuel prices are at an all-time high, it’s great to see the Government supporting businesses to make the switch to electric.
“Not only will this be more economical in the long term, it will also help to drive down emissions on our roads, from the food in our supermarkets to the online orders delivered straight to our doorsteps, it’s vital that these journeys are made in a green and environmentally-friendly way.
“While this is good news for both large and small businesses, I would like to see support for drivers making the switch to continue in a sustainable way.
“Without the right incentives in place, we risk becoming a two-tier nation when it comes to uptake of electric cars, and with the price of fuel going up at the pump, we should be encouraging more people to buy electric, by making sure that the right incentives and infrastructure are in place to support people on this journey. “
To ensure funding and taxpayers’ money goes where it’s really needed and supports the transition to zero emission vehicles, eligibility criteria for existing Plug-In Vehicle Grants will also be recategorised from the spring with a focus on heavier vehicles.
With the increasing number of large vans on the market, the move will ensure the Government targets support where it’s most needed, allowing for heavier and more costly trucks, up to 12 tonnes, to benefit from the higher grant funding.