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Plug-in grants must continue for long term, says BVRLA

Plug-in vehicle grants should be extended for the long-term while CO2-based taxes also need revamping to support fleet take-up of greener vehicles.

These are some of the calls being made to the next Government by the BVRLA in its 2019 Manifesto as it highlights how such measures can help drive government ambitions on tackling air quality.

Chief to this is the continuation of the plug-in car and van grants, as concerns mount over a lack of commitment to their future. There are currently no concrete plans to continue these grants beyond next year – an announcement was expected in the Spending Review but was conspicuous by its absence while hopes for clarity in the Budget have been thwarted as Parliament shuts for a five-week general election campaign.

The BVRLA says the lack of clarity is feeding anxiety within the market that the funds could be pulled at short notice – leading it to call for the grants to be run until at least 2025 for full electric vehicles, providing a vital affordability boost until price parity is achieved with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

And it says that the Government should re-introduce the Plug-in Grant for plug-in hybrid vehicles as a short-term measure while supply constraints for pure EVs continue. The Grant was axed for PHEVs last October under a reformed system focused on increasing uptake of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Since then, PHEV registrations have fallen significantly; latest SMMT figures for the year to date show they’re down 26.7%.

The request on the Plug-in Grant forms part of the association’s Manifesto 2019 – which focuses on three main areas of accelerating the Road to Zero, driving transport behaviour change, and tackling air quality and emissions today.

The seven-point plan, produced for the next Government’s first 100 days in office, also urges them to:

  • Target additional funding for the fleet sector to help with the costs of installing EV charging infrastructure.
  • Adjust CO2-related taxes to create a more stable environment to encourage investment in greener company cars.
  • Extend Future Mobility Zone funding for another year.
  • Create a Mobility Innovation Fund to help local authorities to develop new, integrated mobility services.
  • Establish a new ‘Targeted Clean Freight Scrappage Fund’ to help upgrade vans and trucks operating within the Clean Air Zones.

“The main political parties have provided lots of ambitious targets for reducing transport emissions and congestion but precious little detail on how this rapid transition is going to be achieved,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.

“In our manifesto, we have set out some clear, costed policy measures that will help tackle air quality, drive transport behaviour change and accelerate the road to zero.”

To read the BVRLA’s 2019 Manifesto, click here.

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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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