UK Pushing Pure Electric Cars … By Cutting Support For Plug-In Hybrids

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The UK doesn’t get a ton of attention in the electric vehicle media landscape, but it’s actually the third-largest electric car market in Europe, trailing only Norway and Germany.

Meanwhile, though, it’s 10th in Europe in terms of the plug-in car share of overall new car sales. Furthermore, the large majority of those plug-in car sales have been plug-in hybrids. The country is now aiming to change that. It’s aiming to stimulate more pure-electric car sales and phase out the plug-in hybrids.

That said, the policy change isn’t a boost to pure-electric car subsidies. It’s a cut to pure-electric car subsidies but a much bigger cut to plug-in hybrid subsidies. “Buyers of vehicles which emit less than 50 grams/km of CO2 and have a electric-only range of at least 70 miles (113 km) will see the grant they are eligible for reduced by 22 percent to 3,500 pounds ($4,630),” Automotive News Europe writes.

“Those purchasing cars emitting up to 75 g/km of CO2 but with a lower zero-emission range will no longer be eligible for such support under plans due to come into force next month.”

We’ll see if the subsidy changes flip consumer preference in plug-in cars, and we’ll also see if it correlates with a slowdown or rise in plug-in car sales.

So far this year, “alternative fuel vehicles” (mostly plug-in cars) are up 22%, more than any other group. The overall car market has dropped a whopping 7.5%, making that 22% rise all the more interesting.

“Prematurely removing upfront purchase grants can have a devastating impact on demand,” SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said about the change. “Without world-class incentives, government’s world-class ambitions will not be delivered.”

Charts via EV-Volumes, top image via Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt (some rights reserved), bottom image by me, Zach Shahan.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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