Government names plug-in vans eligible for grant

Government has named seven ultra-low carbon vans that will qualify for a discount of up to £8,000 as part of the ‘Plug-In Van Grant’ incentive. The incentive aims to stimulate the market for ultra-low carbon commercial vehicles as it establishes itself in the UK.

“The Plug-In Van Grant and today’s detail on the seven models eligible is excellent news for van drivers, operators, businesses and the industry. The savings on the initial purchase price, coupled with the tax advantages and very low running costs make a plug-in van an attractive proposition – particularly for those running local and back-to-base services,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. “Home to a high level of low carbon R&D and manufacturing activity, the UK is well placed to take full advantage of the ultra-low carbon vehicle sector. Incentives that support the development of a flourishing market will add to our competitive advantage.”

Already on sale, or arriving this year, each van is eligible for a 20% price reduction up to £8,000 with VAT businesses able to reclaim the full list price VAT on top of the reduction. Vans qualifying for the Grant must emit less than 75g/km CO2, be capable of travelling at least 60 miles between charges (10 miles in electric mode for hybrid vans), reaching speeds of more than 50mph and meet European safety standards.

In lobbying for the new Plug-In Van Grant, SMMT stressed the value of low carbon R&D and testing in the UK and the significance of the ultra-low carbon vehicle market for the country’s economy. The early development of a low carbon market in the UK brings with it vehicle trials, engineering and development functions – crucial elements that will help the UK to remain at the forefront of this emerging market.

Plug-In Van Grant eligible vehicles:

Manufacturer Model On sale
Azure Dynamics Ford Transit Connect Electric Now
Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL Now
Renault Renault Kangoo Z.E. (+ variants) (Pictured) Now
Smith Electric Smith Edison (+ variants SE2 and SE3 Now
Faam Ecomile March 2012
Faam Jolly 2000 March 2012
Mia-electric Mia U May 2012


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  • coldair - 22/02/2012 13:08

    i bet all the parcel delivery firms will have them next week for there daily 2 - 300 mile rounds

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  • vickiE3105 - 24/02/2012 10:30

    Are electric vehicles really an option for business use? Andrew Yeoman, Managing Director for Trimble UK said in his recent blog. News that the Government announced it will offer an £8,000 grant to those who want to buy an electric van has propelled electric vehicles into the limelight once again. The grant has been set up to encourage businesses and consumers to swap their Ford Transits for more environmentally friendly vehicles. Not only do users benefit from the contribution to the purchase price but they also save on tax and won’t have to spend a fortune on running costs, making it a ‘win-win’ situation for everyone – or does it? Are electric vans or indeed any electric vehicle really of any use in the business world? Would the average ‘white van man’ for example use one of these vans to get to a job, carry around tools and equipment and make deliveries? Probably not. While electric vans are wonderful in terms of green credentials, in reality they can be expensive and impractical for those doing a large number of miles or carrying significant weight. Take for example a typical plumber. They travel an average of 400 miles per week, carrying an average of 5kgs of equipment. An electric van would be totally unviable for them due to the current vehicle range and battery life. Typically an electric vehicle has to be charged every 50-75 miles but with a lack of charging points across the country, it would be impossible for the plumber to reliably get from job to job. And of course, let’s not forget that electronic vehicles cost between £10-15,000 more than a ‘normal’ petrol/diesel van, so even with the government grant, they are still expensive. So what’s the answer? It’s clear electric vans aren’t yet suitable for the business world but macro hybrid vehicles are. They don’t cost the earth but with their combined electric and internal combustion engine they will help save the earth. They can be filled up at any service station or charged

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