The Government is committing an additional £4 million to the plug-in van grant scheme extending the eligibility to larger electric vehicles.
Businesses will now benefit from grants up to £20,000 when switching their heavier vans and trucks to electric vehicles, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced during a three-day visit to Japan where he is meeting Japanese automotive companies.
The plug-in van grant has been available to small commercial vehicles of up to 3.5 tonnes since 2012, but sales of new electric vans have remained limited.
The Government is now committing an additional £4m to the scheme so that all vans and trucks meeting the necessary requirements are eligible as part of the drive to reduce carbon emissions from transport use.
It means that N2 vans (3.5 – 12 tonnes gross weight) and N3 vans (over 12 tonnes gross weight), which meet the emissions criteria are now eligible.
The scheme will be reviewed once 5,000 grants have been processed, or in March 2018, whichever is earlier.
Clark said: “The electric car revolution is well underway with consumers and this funding will encourage more businesses to consider switching to cleaner vans and trucks.
“Our automotive sector is thriving with the world’s most popular electric car already made in the UK and we are forging ahead to deploy new engine technology to make low-carbon vehicles mainstream, and leading the way in driverless car technology.
“The Government and industry continue to work together to support the UK’s world class automotive industry to ensure we continue to be the number one place in the world to develop and manufacture cars.”
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), a joint unit of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport, believes extending the scheme will stimulate demand for more electric vans and trucks, and consequently encourage new entrants into the electric van market.