As a motor trader you may have bought an electric car and been helped out with a £5000 government grant. The government were encouraging people to buy electric cars and the grant scheme began due to the high levels of pollution in the UK. When the push for electric cars began, the UK did not respond however, things have changed over the past couple of years. We previously wrote a Guide for Motor Traders for Going Green but since then a lot has changed.
The UK car industry has shown figures that suggest people are warming to electric cars. In March 2014, 1200 electric cars were purchased, compared to the 6,000 bought in March 2015 which is an increase of 400%! According to the SMMT, Plug-in hybrid sales increased by 984% over the same period of time.
The government scheme is due to run out soon and nothing has been implemented to replace it. Over 25,000 grants have been given out to electric car buyers since 2010, with motor traders selling 2000 in January alone.
In 10 months the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sold 10,000 cars meaning that the limit on the grant is approaching sooner than we thought. The limit of 50,000 was estimated to last up until 2017. The decision to continue the grant has not yet been made and it is thought this won’t happen until after the general election.
Even though nothing has been announced, £200 million have already been made which could be used to extend the grant until 2020 however; it is thought that the money will be put towards ultra -low emission vehicles.
You may have thought that due to the current prices of fuel, the popularity of electric cars would drop but in fact, the opposite has happened.
You may be wondering why people suddenly changed their minds about electric cars since they first came out. This is down to the choice of cars that now qualify for the government grant. When the scheme first began only 6 cars were eligible but now 27 models qualify.
The amount of charging points has also increased with 3,000 areas in the UK allowing you to charge your vehicle. The editor of WhatCar? Magazine, Jim Holder said: “It’s a classic rolling boulder. More manufacturers have come in, the infrastructure has grown, and there are a lot of incentives behind buying a car.”
The incentives for buying an electric car have also been a huge reason as to why people have become more interested. It saves them money in the long run. The incentives are:
• Road tax exemption
• Free to enter London’s congestion zone
• Up to £5,000 government grant
The time it took to charge an electric car was also used to be an issue but car manufacturers have picked up on this. There are now 7,000 cars in 3,000 locations in the UK in which 500 are ‘fast chargers’ meaning they can charge the car to 50% in just 20 minutes!
As a motor trader you may want to think about buying some electric cars as soon as possible as the grant is beginning to run out however they may put in a new scheme that could be either better or worse than the one currently in place so it is a gamble.
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