Published on November 2nd, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan0
UK Pushing Pure Electric Cars … By Cutting Support For Plug-In Hybrids
November 2nd, 2018 by Zachary Shahan
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.”