The UK is now ahead of France and Germany in the take up of low emission vehicles (ULEV), the government has claimed.
A major impetus behind the surge in UK ULEVs has been the Government’s ‘plug-in’ scheme for cars and vans, which offers a 25% grant towards the purchase of every ULEV car capped at £5,000 and 20% towards the purchase of a van capped at £8,000.
More than 25,000 grant claims have now been submitted to government since the scheme began in 2010.
However ministers have now changed the eligibility for the scheme, although vehicles in all categories will continue to be eligible for the full grant of up to £5000, until either 50,000 grants are issued or 2017, whichever is first.
The DfT has now updated its criteria for the plug-in car grant. From April 2015, eligible ULEVs must meet criteria in one of the following categories depending on emission levels and zero-emission-capable mileage:
· Category 1: CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range of at least 70 miles
· Category 2: CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range between 10 and 69 miles
· Category 3: CO2 emissions of 50-75g/km and a zero emission range of at least 20 miles.
Transport minister Baroness Kramer said: ‘More and more people are deciding a ULEV is the right choice for them. They are great to drive, easily chargeable at home or on the street, and cheap to use with running costs from just 2 pence a mile.
'The Government’s £500m investment will help more models become available to suit a wide range of budgets. This thriving industry will support jobs and build a stronger economy.’