The government is to chop grants aimed toward encouraging people to shop for electric vehicles during a move that has been criticized by the motor industry.
The Department for Transport will reduce the grant from £3,000 to £2,500 and restrict it to cars under £35,000.
But Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said it’s “the wrong move at the incorrect time”.
It said the choice goes against the government’s zero-emissions ambitions.
“This sends the incorrect message to the buyer, especially private customers, and to an industry challenged to satisfy the government’s ambition to be a world leader within the transition to zero emission mobility,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.
The government said that higher-priced vehicles are typically bought by drivers who can afford to modify to electric vehicles without a subsidy.
It said the changes will allow funding for the grant to travel further.
Transport minister Rachel Maclean said: “We want as many of us as possible to be ready to make the switch to electric vehicles.”
“The increasing choice of latest vehicles, growing demand from customers, and rapidly rising number of charge points means while the extent of funding remains as high as ever, given soaring demand, we are re-focusing our vehicle grants on the cheaper zero emission vehicles.”
The government also will alter how it calculates the plug-in van grant and alter the eligibility for the grant to vehicles that are ready to travel for 60 miles with no emissions.
The plug-in car grant was introduced a decade ago and was designed to scale back the worth of electrical cars, which generally cost more to form than petrol or diesel equivalents, to encourage more people to shop for them.
Since 2018, the govt has been narrowing the scope of the grant, bringing the extent down piecemeal from £4,500 and tightening the eligibility criteria.
It said in 2018 that it wanted to gradually get obviate the grants. In March 2020, it extended the grant schemes for 3 years.
Sales of electrical cars have increased rapidly over the past year but remain a comparatively small proportion of all cars sold.
The government says that by 2030 it wants to ban the sale of the latest cars powered only by petrol or diesel engines.