Complete guide for individuals and companies
Grants for electric vehicles (EV) and electric vehicle chargers (EV chargers) differ depending on where in Europe you are located. We have brought together everything you need to know about these grants in the UK.
The UK has a comprehensive strategy for electrification which is called the ‘Road to Zero’. The country has an official Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) which, along with various government departments, is working to end the sale of fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040. In the next few years the country will invest GBP 500 million in green technology.
The EV market in the UK is growing rapidly with more than 164,100 fully electric vehicles on British roads, according to statistics from autumn 2020. In addition, there are more than 373,600 plug-in models, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
The latest set of figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that fully electric models accounted for 6.7% of total new vehicle registrations, and if we add plug-in hybrids to this, the figure increases to 10.5%.
- Purchase grant: Low-emission vehicles can benefit from the Plug-in Car Grant, which means that the purchaser can obtain up to:
- 35% of the cost of an electric car (up to a maximum of GBP 3,500 depending on the model)
- 20% of the cost of an electric motorcycle or moped (up to GBP 1,500 max.).
- 20% of the cost of an electric van (up to GBP 8,000 max.).
- 20% of the cost of a large electric van or truck (up to a maximum of GBP 20,000 for the first 200 orders placed and up to a maximum of GBP 8,000 for subsequent orders).
- 20% of the cost of an electric taxi (up to max. GBP 7,500).
- OZEV is responsible for managing the grant. No action is required to benefit from the grant because the vehicle dealership includes the value of the grant in the price of the vehicle.
- There is also a grant to cover the cost of installing an EV charger at home via the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, under which you can get up to GBP 350 off the cost of installing a charging station at home.
- Ownership tax: pure electric vehicles costing less than GBP 40,000 are exempt from the annual ownership tax.
- Company car tax: companies that buy electric vehicles can write down 100% of the purchase price against their corporation tax liability if the vehicle emits no more than 50 g/km of carbon dioxide. Electric vehicles that emit more than 50 g/km of carbon dioxide have their company car tax set at 18% per year; read more here.
Local and regional EV incentives for individuals and companies
- Scotland: The Scottish government offers an interest-free loan to support drivers changing to an electric car or a hybrid car. Loans of up to GBP 35,000 to cover the cost of buying a new electric/hybrid vehicle, which is repaid over a period of 6 years.
- Northern Ireland: A maximum grant of EUR 5,000 is available for privately purchased electric cars and a maximum grant of EUR 3,800 is available for those purchased commercially. Read more here.
- London: Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are exempt from London’s congestion charge until 2025.
- Local parking benefits: There is free and reduced-rate parking for electric vehicles in some places.
- Other benefits: The British government plans to give electric vehicles special green registration plates so that it is easier for them to take advantage of local benefits, such as free parking, the use of bus lanes and access to areas that are closed to normal vehicles.
EV charging incentives
Of the zero emission strategy’s total budget of GBP 290 million, GBP 80 million is directed to improving the EV charging infrastructure, which includes the following areas:
National EV charging incentives for individuals and companies
Grants for EV charging at home: The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) allows purchasers of electric vehicles to receive a grant of up to 75% (GBP 350 max., including VAT) of the total purchase and installation costs of an EV charger for their home. Company cars and leased cars are also eligible for the incentives.
Grants for EV charging at workplaces: The Workplace Chargepoint Grant is a scheme that provides the upfront costs for the purchase and installation of charging stations at workplaces:
From 1 April 2020: companies can cover 75% of all purchase and installation costs, up to a maximum of GBP 350 in each case, for a maximum of 40 sites.
Company tax benefits: companies that install charging infrastructure can claim tax benefits through a 100% first year allowance (FYA) for expenses linked to EV charging equipment.
Local and regional incentives for individuals and companies
Grants for charging stations at home in Scotland: The Energy Saving Trust allows purchasers of electric vehicles to obtain a grant of up to GBP 300 of the total purchase and installation costs of an EV charger for their home. This grant is available on top of the OZEV grant of GBP 350 as indicated above.
Grant for charging stations at workplaces in Scotland: The Energy Saving Trust allows companies to obtain funding for the purchase and installation costs for EV chargers at their workplace. The precise number of EV chargers for which financial support can be provided depends on the number and type of company-owned and individual-owned electric vehicles.