Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG) For Electric Cars: A Guide To The UK Government EV Incentive!

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Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

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Though The Future Of PiCG Grants Are Ambiguous, One Thing Is For Certain, EV Buyers Can Still Take Advantage Of The Incentives!

If there is one learning from industries that have developed with the support of government incentives, is that, the subsidies offered becomes less attractive over time, and in most cases, are terminated far sooner than industry and consumer expectations. The solar industry in the UK is certainly a case in point.  

The electric vehicle industry is no different, in that, like the renewable energy industry, the EV sector has depended on UK government grants, to include, the plug-in car grant (PiCG) and the Electric Home Charging Scheme (EVHS) grant, to attract buyer interest and develop the UK EV market.   These grants are eventually funded by the taxpayer. 

Despite the increase in the adoption of EVs in the UK and the governments intention to move forward the date for the ban of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to 2035, for the successful mass-adoption of electric cars, a long-term and robust incentive framework is imperative.  A number of key industry participants, to include the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) and even e-zoomed have been vocal in their concerns about the current ambiguity on the future of the PiCG incentive. 

The PiCG is for low-emission vehicles approved by the UK government and managed by the Office For Low-Emission Vehicles (OLEV).  We first published a complete guide for the electric car grant in April 2019.  Since then there have been some changes to the grant restricting the type of low-emission vehicles eligible for the grant.  In short, the former Category 1 electric vehicles are still eligible, however, the former category 2 and 3 vehicles are not eligible.  The UK government is keen to promote the uptake of battery-electric vehicles or all-electric cars.  Also the amount of grant was reduced from £4,500 to £3,500. 

The UK new electric vehicle grant covers 6 categories of low-emission vehicles, to include:

  • Cars
  • Motorcycles 
  • Mopeds 
  • Vans
  • Taxis 
  • Large vans and trucks 

In the case of electric cars, to be eligible for the plug-in car grant, the EVs have to be able to achieve at least 70 miles zero-emission electric driving and CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km.  The grant is up to a maximum of 35% of the purchase price but no more than £3,500.   The good news with the grant is, that a consumer does not need to do anything to claim the grant.  The process is managed directly between the vehicle dealerships/ manufacturers and the government. 

Examples of some all-electric cars eligible for the PiCG are:

For e-motorcycles, to be eligible, the vehicles should be able to travel 31 miles and have no tailpipe emissions. For e-mopeds, to be eligible, will have to travel 19 miles and no emissions.  If ever in doubt about the eligibility of an green car for PiCG, best to ask the dealership.  Also, for avoidance of any doubt, the grant is only available for new electric cars i.e. used electric cars are not eligible. 

We at e-zoomed encourage you to take advantage of the current PiCG grant to acquire an electric car.  We can certainly assist you in sourcing and financing an EV.  Simply follow the links below. 

While e-zoomed uses reasonable efforts to provide accurate and up-to-date information, some of the information provided is gathered from third parties and has not been independently verified by e-zoomed. While the information from the third party sources is believed to be reliable, no warranty, express or implied, is made by e-zoomed regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of this information.

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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 large-scale 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 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 has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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