Car grants and extra offers are ‘critical’ to make electric cars an alternative to petrol

Car grants and extra offers are ‘critical’ to make electric cars an alternative to petrol

09/05/2020

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Transport experts have warned that although drivers can already make savings with electric vehicles, more discounts are still needed. Amanda Streeton, Transport Editor at electric vehicle experts Centrica has warned that the initial outlay” of purchasing an electric model is “still high” across the market.

This means that extra help is needed to ensure “widespread availability” of competitive models which she claims is “crucial” to make the new tools a viable alternative to polluting vehicles.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Stretton said: “Already, EV drivers can make savings on fuel, lower maintenance costs and reduced road tax rates.

“Having an electric company car can also offer a significant reduction in Benefit in Kind tax, with savings of £4,000 per year not usual.

“Yet the initial outlay cost of purchasing an EV is still high, so more grants for vehicles and charging points are critical in helping to reduce overall expenses.

The widespread availability of electric cars with competitive total ownership costs will also be crucial in making them an accessible alternative to petrol and diesel.

“It is essential that the UK market continues to be supplied with EVs post-Brexit to help reach cost parity, which is expected in the mid-2020s.”

Analysis from Centrica has shown that one in four drivers will consider switching to an electric vehicle next time they need to buy a car.

Electric car sales have jumped in demand by 157 percent compared to 2019 with massive leaps in interest so far in 2020.

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The comments come just days after the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders called for a long-term commitment to offering extra incentives to owners.

They have called for a continuation to the popular plug-in grants and pushed for VAT exemptions.

They reveal these changes would reduce the upfront cost of a fully-electric family car by around £5,500 which could boost demand.

The changes would see plug-in hybrid models also fall in price by around £4,750 which would encourage drivers to switch.

They say these simple changes could drive an extra 2.4million sales across the next five years.

The SMMT says electric models are capable of 28 percent market share by 2025 compared with just eight percent in today’s market.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive says the government needs to match the “commitment” of car firms by increasing incentives and boosting infrastructure.

He said: “Car makers are leading the charge to zero-emission motoring, with massive investment in new models fueling huge consumer interest but they can’t transform the market alone.

“To give consumers confidence to take the leap into these technologies, we need government and other sectors to step up and match manufacturers’ commitment by investing in the incentives and infrastructure needed to power our electric future.

Electric car owners can already secure a range of top discounts which can dramatically reduce vehicle running costs.

Electric models can cost just a few pence per mile which can save drivers considerable sums of money on fuel.

Fully electric models are exempt from paying traditional vehicle excise duty (VED) charges which can be expensive for polluting models.

Owners can also avoid city congestion charges and may soon receive extra council-led initiatives such as cheaper parking under new schemes.

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