The UK government has plans to extend its electric vehicle grant to LCVs this month, giving man and van operators the opportunity to save 25% when upgrading to a new low emissions model. The current electric car incentive provides a £5,000 subsidy to consumers buying a new car, the extension to vans could mean savings of up to £8,000.
Total electric vehicle sales were poor in 2011 with just over 1,000 claims for the plug in car grant, an insignificant step towards the aim of 1.7m electric vehicles on the road in 2020. Including vans in the grant will aim to increase the uptake of low-carbon vehicles to justify the investments made in charging stations.
An upfront subsidy coupled with overall lower fuel costs and tax exemptions will make ultra-low carbon emitting commercial vehicles an attractive long-term investment for couriers and companies transporting goods on a regular basis.
The subsidy only applies to a hybrids that emit less than 75grams of CO2 per km and can travel 60 miles between charge (10 miles for pure electric mode vans).
The grant update comes at a time when HGVs and car transport operators are faced with ever escalating diesel prices, highlighting the need for further development of alternative fuel sources.
Robert Matthams, Managing Director of Shiply an online transport marketplace (http://www.shiply.com) with more than 40,000 delivery companies as members, welcomes this green transport initiative from the government:
“Extending the electric car grant to vans is a positive move for the delivery industry; it will be a great impetus for courier companies to invest in new low carbon vans where it might have been more difficult to do so previously.
Fuel costs are a large expense for courier companies, and the development of infrastructure and alternative fuels should help future savings. Provided that the government maintains its level of support for electric vehicles, alternative-fuel vans could quickly become a desirable option for drivers.”