£4 million boost to help businesses switch vans and trucks to electric
The government is committing an additional £4 million to the Plug-In Van grant scheme extending the eligibility to larger electric vehicles.
• electric trucks above 3.5 tonnes eligible for grants of up to £20,000
• scheme will help improve air quality in towns and cities
• move to electric vehicles crucial for decarbonising the transport system
Businesses will now benefit from grants up to £20,000 when switching their large trucks to electric vehicles, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced during a 3 day visit to Japan where he is meeting Japanese automotive companies.
The Plug-In Van grant has been available to small commercial vehicles of up to 3.5 tonnes since 2012, but sales of new electric vans have remained limited.
Electric vans and trucks have significant air quality benefits, as they spend much of their time in towns and city centres and over 96% of them are diesel-powered.
The government is now committing an additional £4 million to the scheme so that all vans and trucks meeting the necessary requirements are eligible as part of the drive to reduce carbon emissions from transport use.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:
"The electric car revolution is well underway with consumers and this funding will 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."
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), a joint unit of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport, believes extending the scheme will stimulate demand for more electric vans and trucks, and consequently encourage new entrants into the electric van market.
The government and industry continue to work together to support the UK’s world class automotive industry, including on the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which has invested £1 billion to develop low carbon technologies. We have also invested £100 million in connected and autonomous vehicles, and through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles we are also helping work up the most constructive programme to support the adoption of electric vehicles.
It is the second visit the Business Secretary has made to Japan since his appointment in July 2016, highlighting the personal importance he attaches to this particular relationship. Japan is the second biggest investor in the UK and their track record of co-operation in the development of new technologies and business models is second to none. In addition to visiting Nissan, the Business Secretary also met with Honda and Toyota executives.