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Electric vehicle grants ‘failing to ignite’ market demand

Grants for electric vehicles are failing to ignite the market-so says the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

Are sales of electric vans failing to take-off?

While uptake of the electric car grants grew 14 per cent in the first half of 2013 compared to the previous six months, it remains less than the growth in the overall car market, at 17 per cent.

Newly released data from the DVLA shows that uptake of the electric van grants was much worse however, actually falling 27 per cent, with just 119 plug-in grant eligible vans registered in the first half of 2013 compared to the 163 registered in the second half of 2012.

"These figures show that the current strategy for driving uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles is not working," said BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney.

"The fleet market buys more than half of all new vehicles registered each year and operates the greenest cars and vans on UK roads. As bulk purchasers, fleet operators could create a huge surge in demand for plug-in vehicles if they were given the right package of incentives. Unfortunately, the current tax regime actually encourages many fleets not to run plug-in vehicles.”

Instead of focusing on grants for buyers of electric vehicles, the association wants to see vehicle users offered longer-term, in-use incentives such as ten-year road tax exemption, free parking and financial support when installing charging points at work premises.

Keaney added: "The government's Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) recently launched its new strategy and announced that it would look to develop a 'strong, clear and lasting' set of tax incentives. This work cannot happen soon enough."

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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Electric cars

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