Government Criticised Over EV Grant Decision

The Government’s announcement that it is to lower the grant for electric vehicles has been roundly condemned.

Among those not happy with the decision is Mark Barrett, General Manager, Harris MAXUS, who calls it a ‘retrograde step’.

He adds: “It comes without any warning and at a time when incentives are vital to encouraging drivers and fleet buyers to make the switch to greener motoring.  If we are to move to a zero-emission market, significant government supports are needed given the current higher cost of EV vehicles.

“A lower EV grant has the potential to stall the good progress being made in meeting the targets and deadlines that have been set to achieve a zero-emission market.

“There is a growing range of EV vans in the market and many tenders in process waiting to be awarded.  This move by government will alter the dynamic of commercial fleet tenders for which price is a huge factor and may now result in fleet buyers delaying the move to electric.”

He continues: “There should have been consultation with OEMs to ascertain what EVs are in production and the level of tenders or quotes that are in train using the higher OLEV support amount. We all knew that the grants were never going to be forever and would, over time, be reduced.  However, the sector should have been given a lead in time of at least six months to allow us to prepare for the changes, address pending orders etc.

“Notwithstanding this announcement, MAXUS will continue to do all that we can through innovation, education and choice, to help people make the switch and understand not only the benefits, but also the real TCO (total cost of ownership) of buying and running an EV van.”