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UK Government Extends Plug-In Van and Truck Grants for Two Years

3 min

c. César Baciero, Flickr
As the UK Government extends Plug-In Van and Truck Grants for two years, Quadrant Transport highlights how this will boost decarbonisation in the transport sector. 

The move is expected to support the purchase of tens of thousands of greener vans and trucks. It will help make the UK less reliant on foreign oil imports, improving the security of our energy supply and reducing our vulnerability to volatility in global energy prices.

Last year, industry figures showed the UK had the highest number of plug-in electric vans sold in Europe, and there were around four times as many grant applications compared to 2020. 

Existing grants have supported the purchase of more than 26,000 electric vans and HGVs across the UK since the programme launched in 2012.  

Reducing van emissions is essential to the decarbonisation agenda

With nearly 5% of the UK’s CO2 emissions currently coming from vans, the two-year extension to these grants and the switch to greener vehicles is essential to support the Government’s climate change and air quality commitments.  

While it is important to encourage modal shift from cars to train and modes of active travel, Tradespeople and some delivery drivers cannot access other modes of transport for work. 

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison told Quadrant Transport: “When it comes to clean business, this Government means business. We are backing a generation of green growth for our thriving fleet sector.” 

As demand for electric vehicles continues to grow at speed, this extension to our grant scheme will allow tens of thousands more vans to be purchased, transporting goods in a way which is kinder to our environment    

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular and affordable. Government grants for electric vans and trucks have helped kickstart the market, offering more than 30 electric vans and trucks that qualify for such schemes. 

The number of available models will continue to rise, allowing more people and businesses to benefit from the lower running costs of greener vehicles.  

Multiple smaller grants form a bigger picture of decarbonisation

This Government has committed £2.5bn to vehicle grants and chargepoint infrastructure to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles to date. 

Plug-In Vehicle Grant Schemes have supported purchasing over 450,000 ultra-low emission vehicles across the UK – including more than 300,000 zero-emission vehicles.  

This will support our vital, ongoing work to clean up our air in towns and cities right across the country and build back greener 

As well as the extension to grant schemes, the Government has also announced it will continue to allow drivers holding standard car driving licences to drive electric goods vans at a higher weight limit. Up to 4.25 tonnes (compared to a 3.5 tonne limit for diesel vans).

This considers the additional weight of electric vehicle batteries and makes it easier for businesses and drivers to switch.   

To ensure funding and taxpayers’ money goes where needed and supports the transition to zero-emission vehicles, eligibility criteria for existing Plug-In Vehicle Grants will also be recategorised from the spring, focusing on heavier vehicles.   

From 1 April 2022, the threshold to claim the small truck grant of up to £16,000 will be increased from 3.5 to 4.25 tonnes. Vans up to 4.25 tonnes will be able to claim the large van grant of up to £5,000.  

With the increasing number of large vans on the market, the move will ensure Government targets support where it’s most needed, allowing for heavier and more costly trucks, up to 12 tonnes, to benefit from the higher grant funding.

This change will ensure funding focuses on helping more polluting trucks make the switch to a zero-emission future.