Fleet operators can now submit up to 1,500 applications per financial year, a 50% rise from the previous limit of 1,000.
This decision follows the Department for Transport’s introduction of a maximum number of applications in December 2021, aimed at ensuring the best value for taxpayers and a fair distribution of plug-in budgets. OZEV states that the new limit is a response to current market conditions and emphasizes that the grant will be continuously reviewed.
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) welcomed the extension of the plug-in van grant but highlighted the challenges faced by fleets in transitioning to zero emission vehicles. BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney stated that while the grant is crucial in promoting electric light commercial vehicles (LCVs) on UK roads, it is not a complete solution.
Keaney pointed out that the lack of fleet-friendly public charging infrastructure remains a significant issue, and operators struggle to find electric vehicles that match the cost, payload, and range of their diesel counterparts. He called for a comprehensive effort to develop an affordable, reliable, and accessible charging infrastructure that caters to van fleets, along with a new plan specifically targeting electric vans.
Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), also welcomed the order limit extension but expressed concerns about the charging infrastructure network in the UK. Robinson urged the government to match the efforts and investments made by retailers in preparing for the 2030 deadline, stating that more needs to be done to promote and incentivize the transition to electric vehicles.
It is worth noting that the UK government withdrew the plug-in car grant (PiCG) in June of the previous year, which provided up to £1,500 off the price of an electric vehicle. Additionally, the plug-in van grant was reduced in December 2021, offering a maximum of £2,500 for small vans (2.5 tonnes GVW or less) and £5,000 for larger vans (2-3.5 tonnes GVW). There were no changes to the grant rates for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.
In March 2022, the government confirmed that fleets would continue to have access to the plug-in van and truck grants until 2024/25, extending the availability of these incentives for two more years.