By Jack Evans
The pot of money put aside to fund the Government’s £5,000 Plug-In Car Grant has been quickly running out, as more and more car buyers opt for eligible electric or plug-in hybrid models.
Despite an initially slow take-up, sales of electric vehicles have rocketed in recent months. Within the first five months of 2015, 11,842 grant-eligible vehicles were sold. The government’s limit of 50,000 grants, however, has grown ever closer as sales have increased.
Mitsubishi accounted for 4,596 units in the first three months of 2015 with its Outlander PHEV hybrid, making it the UK’s best-selling plug-in vehicle. The Outlander has the benefit of a petrol engine to aid the electric motor, which increases the distance it can cover in one go, which may have won buyers from electric-only models, which often can cover less than 100 miles on a single charge.
In contrast to 2015 sales, take up of the Government grant was slow initially. After two years, only 3,200 grants had been applied for, with the limited choice of vehicles available at the time no doubt putting off some buyers.
Should electric car grants end, drivers still receive several benefits from owning an electric car, with both car tax and London congestion charge being free for electric vehicle users.
For a trip of around 100 miles, an electric car owner could be expected to pay around £2 to £3 for the electricity. An owner of a petrol or diesel, in contrast, could pay closer to £12 or £13.