The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Energy has launched an extension of the electric vehicle plug-in van grant, incorporating larger vehicles than before.
Business and energy secretary Greg Clark announced the extended policy during a visit to Japan this weekend, confirming that businesses will now be able to receive grants of up to £20,000 when purchasing electric vans or trucks in the ‘N2’ and ‘N3’ classes, which weigh above 3.5 tonnes.
The existing plug-in van grant has been open since 2012 but was only available to support the purchase of small commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes in size.
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will remain as the scheme’s administrator, and the government will review the extension once 5,000 grants have been processed or in March 2018 depending on which is earlier.
The total amount of the grant is deducted from the price of the vehicle by the dealer when it is purchased and the dealership completes and returns all necessary paperwork.
Clark, who met with executives from Nissan, Honda and Toyota in Japan, said the EV “revolution” was “well underway”, and that this extension would “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,” he said.
OLEV said that the extension would stimulate increased demand for electric vans and trucks and, as a result, encourage new entrants into the EV market.
Earlier this year Tesla founder Elon Musk revealed that his company is to launch a “new kind of pickup truck”, heavy-duty vehicles and public transport alternatives – including an electric bus – as part of a new portfolio of commercial EVs next year.