GB News guests debate using electric cars
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Earlier this week, the Department for Transport announced that the Plug-in Car Grant would be ending immediately. The Government scheme had supported drivers moving to electric cars with a £1,500 incentive towards buying a new electric car under £32,000.
The scheme helped increase the sales of fully electric cars from less than 1,000 in 2011 to almost 100,000 in the first five months of 2022 alone.
It said the grant scheme had been successful in creating a “mature market” for EVs, with one in six new cars on UK roads being electric.
The Government is now “refocusing” its funding towards public charging and supporting the purchase of other road vehicles where the switch to electric requires further development.
Thom Groot, CEO of The Electric Car Scheme, lamented the decision to cut the Plug-in Car Grant, but said alternatives were available to drivers.
He added: “It is disappointing that the Government is reducing support for the transition to net-zero at a time where they are collecting record levels of fuel duty from petrol and diesel car drivers filling up at the pumps.
“We have a long road to go to get to 100 percent of cars being electric by 2050, and Government support is required to help the UK’s drivers make the switch.
“The most affordable way to access an electric car now is through The Electric Car Scheme.
“The Electric Car Scheme works via a salary sacrifice and saves employees between 30 and 60 percent on an electric car.
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“The savings on electric cars through the initiative are not affected by the announcement, and make electric cars far more accessible than before.
“For example, a Volkswagen Up! could cost as little as £199 per month, or an employee could drive a Tesla Model 3 from as little as £399 per month.”
The scheme is similar to the Bike to Work scheme which helps employers save money on a new bike as a free employee benefit, designed to reduce the number of car trips and boost cycling.
The Government has already committed £1.6billion to building the UK’s public chargepoint network.
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Transport Minister Trudy Harrison praised the scheme kickstarting the electric car market in the UK and making it easier for drivers to access EVs.
Since 2020, the Government has invested £2.5billion into the electric transition, through grants and infrastructure.
This is in addition to the “most ambitious” phase-out dates for new diesel and petrol sales “of any major country”.
Steve Tigar, CEO of loveelectric.cars, was also concerned about the cut to the grant scheme, but pointed out that drivers could still save on EVs.
Through a salary sacrifice scheme, motorists can drive most new electric cars for up to half the monthly cost of the vehicle.
Mr Tigar added: “The £1,500 plug-in car grant might have gone but UK businesses can still help motorists get an EV for less and save on tax.
“What a lot of motorists still don’t know is that the companies they work for can help them lease an electric car for 50 percent less than private finance deals.
“The Government still allows businesses of all sizes to put a pre-tax portion of your salary towards paying the monthly cost of leasing an electric car.
“This means you can avoid soaring pump prices and pay less income tax and national insurance.
“Plus, you needn’t worry about depreciation of your EV because you are leasing it, not buying it.
“This is the cheapest way to finance a new electric car and we need every incentive to keep the move to a low carbon future going.”
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