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Fleets urged to help safeguard future of Plug-in Grants

The fleet industry is being urged to take action to safeguard the Plug-in Car and Van Grants in line with growing concerns that they could imminently be axed.

The call comes from the BVRLA, which is asking stakeholders from across the whole of the fleet sector to write to their local MP and ask for their support in securing long-term Government support for the grants. It has also set up a campaign page on its website to speed up the process.

In particular, the BVRLA is highlighting the vital role that the grants play in helping businesses make the switch to electric vehicles as the Government plans for its proposed petrol and diesel ban to now take effect in 2035 or even earlier if feasible and to now include hybrids; news that left many others in the fleet and automotive industries calling for further insights on the grants.

Last week saw the Government indicate a possible U-turn on plans announced in 2018 to phase out the grants, with the Treasury having said: “We recognise consumer incentives will continue to play a role beyond 2020.

“We’ll take a measured approach, balancing the needs of taxpayers, industry and consumers, and consider all options to increase the uptake of zero-emission vehicles,” they added.

Although the new 0% BiK bracket for EVs is due to come into effect in April, once rubber-stamped in the March Budget, the BVRLA says the Plug-in Grants are also crucial to business decisions and has called for the PiCG to be extended for five years – even if it is reduced as price parity gets closer – as part of its 2020 Budget submission.

“Our members are already buying tens of thousands of electric vehicles each year and are helping businesses and individuals across the country to make the leap to zero-emission motoring,” explained BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.

“By setting these new decarbonisation targets, the Government is in danger of writing a cheque that the fleet sector cannot cash,” said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.

“Businesses are being asked to invest billions of pounds in new electric vehicles and infrastructure over a short timescale. Tax incentives are vital, but so are the Plug-in Grants. They need to be maintained in some form until at least 2025 if we are to deliver the transition that is required.”

The BVRLA has also provided evidence of the wider benefits of the PiCG, saying that the cost of funding the grant is partially offset by the increased VAT returns obtained from more expensive EVs. And that the grant plays a vital role in making the UK a more attractive market for manufacturers to sell EVs in.

Keaney continued: “BVRLA members have already put their customers into 90,000 plug-in vehicles. They and their colleagues across the fleet sector have already demonstrated their electric vehicle commitment and credentials. Pulling the Plug-in Grant would destroy this momentum.”

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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