What Is The Plug-In Van Grant? A Short Guide

mercedes benz e-vito electric van

Electric Cars: The Basics

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It is clear that unless you have been living in a bunker over the past few years, you have come across electric vehicles (EVs), to include electric cars, electric scooters, e-bikes and even electric vans.

The past 24 months in particular, have witnessed a significant increase in the adoption of electric mobility in the UK, as individuals and households embrace the world of zero tailpipe emission electric driving. What is also evident is that businesses small and large are also embracing electric driving with equal enthusiasm.

Large organisations like the Royal Mail postal service and DPD delivery business, are now using large fleets of commercial electric vehicles in the UK. DPD now operates a fleet of 700 electric vehicles, and in 2020 has delivered 5 million emission free parcels saving over two million kilograms of CO2.

DPD electric vans
DPD Zero Tailpipe Emission Electric Vans Fleet

But this is not confined to just large businesses. A number of smaller businesses from independent retailers to small manufacturers are also using electric vans to serve their customer base, in particular in cities and towns across the UK. These businesses have one thing in common i.e. they are all taking advantage of the UK government Plug-In Van Grant.

What Is The Plug-In Van Grant?

Similar to the UK government plug-in car grant (PiCG), the government offers a financial incentive to potential buyers of electric vans to adopt zero tailpipe emission electric driving. This financial incentive is known as the plug-in van grant. It is administered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, also simply known as OLEV. The grant is for 20% of the purchase price of the electric van up to a maximum of £8,000.

What Is The Plug-In Van Grant Eligibility Criteria?

As is the case with the plug-in car grant, the UK government has put in place the criteria for the eligibility for the electric van grant. These include:

  • The electric vehicle must be within the N1, N2 or N3 categories, as defined under the EU Directive (EC) 2007/46/EC.
  • Demonstrate that the electric vehicle has type approval.
  • Only new electric vans eligible.
  • The electric vans must emit less than 75 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per km.
  • Must have a zero emission electric driving range of 60 miles for all-electric vans. For plug-in hybrid vans a minimum range of 10 miles is required.
  • All vehicles must have a minimum top speed of 50 miles per hour.
  • All vehicles must have at least a 3 year (60,000 miles) warranty for vehicle and battery, along with an option to increase the battery warranty by two years.
  • The electric vehicles must comply with electric safety regulations (UN-ECE REG 100.00) and crash safety regulations.
The All-Electric Mercedes Benz eSprinter Van
The All-Electric Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Commercial Van (credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Which Electric Vans Are Eligible For The Plug-In Van Grant?

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles currently lists 13 electric vans as eligible for the £8,000 grant. These include:

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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