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Changes to the plug-in grant schemeBack

Plug-in carsTransport accounts for around 25% of the UK’s CO2 and other greenhouse-gas emissions therefore improving the efficiency of the vehicles on our roads is a high priority for the government.

Since 2011, the government has been actively encouraging motorists to switch to for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) by contributing up to 25% or a maximum £5,000 towards electric vehicles and up to 20% or a maximum of £8,000 towards electric. This week, the guidelines changed and a new modified system of Plug-in Vehicle Grants (PiCGs) was introduced.

Below Trusted Dealers outlines the latest guidelines for buyers thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid from 1 March 2016 onwards.

What is the new grant?

The new system offers two rates for PiCGs:

Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs) – the grant will fall by 50% from a maximum £5,000 to £2,000.

Electric Vehicles – the grant will be reduced by £500 to a maximum of £4,500

PiCGs will be awarded using a new EV classification system depending on the level of CO2 emissions and EV-only capability.

Category CO2 emissions Zero emission range Grant awarded
1 Less than 50g/km 70 miles minimum £4,500
2 Less than 50g/km 10-69 miles £2,500
3 Between 50-75g/km At least 20 miles £2,500


Category 2 and 3 models with a list price of more than £60,000 will not be eligible for any grant at all, but all Category 1 vehicles will be eligible regardless of the cost.

The new grant scheme will run until March 2018 or until a certain number of each grant has been awarded.

How do I apply for the grant?

The grant is automatically deducted from the price of the car when you buy it. The dealership completes the paperwork, so there are no application forms to fill in, but you may be asked to complete a short questionnaire.

What is the qualifying criteria for cars?

Below is a list of the qualifying criteria for cars eligible for the government grant:

  • Cars must be new
  • Cars must produce less than 75g/km of CO2
  • Electric vehicles must be capable of 70 miles or more on a single charge and plug-in hybrids must be capable of travelling 10 miles or more purely on electric power
  • Cars must be capable of reaching a minimum of 60mph
  • Cars must have a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, a three-year battery and an electric drivetrain warranty
  • Certain standards must be met regarding electrical and crash safety

Which cars are eligible for the grant?

The cars currently listed as eligible on the government’s website for the scheme are:

  • Audi A3 e-tron
  • BMW i3
  • BMW i8
  • BYD e6
  • Citroen C-Zero
  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Kia Soul EV
  • Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
  • Mercedes-Benz C350e
  • Mercedes-Benz S500 Hybrid
  • Mitsubishi iMiEV
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
  • Nissan e-NV200 5-seater and 7-seater Combi
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Peugeot iON
  • Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
  • Renault Fluence
  • Renault ZOE
  • Smart fortwo electric drive
  • Tesla Model S
  • Toyota Mirai
  • Toyota Prius Plug-in
  • Vauxhall Ampera
  • Volkswagen e-up!
  • Volkswagen e-Golf
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE
  • Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid
  • Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Posted by Leana Kell on 02/03/2016