The government has revealed that they will be ending the plug-in grant scheme in favour of spending the money elsewhere to improve and expand the public electric vehicle charging network.
In a bid to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles, a zero-emission transport option, to combat carbon emissions on our streets, the government introduced the plug-in grant and offered money towards the cost of new electric vehicles.
The scheme offered up to £1,500 towards the cost of purchasing a new electric vehicle in order to promote the use of electric and hybrid vehicles over regular petrol and diesel.
The grant was very successful and achieved its aim, with the amount of sales doubling in the last year, as well as one in six new cars on the road being either electric or hybrid vehicles, the Independent reports.
This is a win for the environment as electric vehicles produce far fewer emissions than their diesel and petrol counterparts and, as a result, contribute minimally to carbon emissions. Electric vehicles have also climbed in popularity due to soaring fuel prices, as those who already owned electric vehicles skipped the filling station queues.
Instead of funding the purchase of new electric vehicles, the government now aims to focus on the expansion of public vehicle charging points, according to the news source. This means that charging your electric vehicles away from home will be far easier and more accessible.
One of the issues faced when deciding whether to purchase an electric vehicle is if you have the space and resources to charge your vehicle at home. Providing more accessible charging points in public means drivers will not have to rely on having a safe or accessible charge point at home.
This opens the option of going electric to people who may have previously decided against it due to being unable to charge at home. This includes those living in flats and apartments or those unable to access outlets from outside their homes or who may feel unsafe or uncomfortable having charging points on their property.
The shift in focus from encouraging people to buy electric vehicles to providing for those who already own them has caused some backlash. However, figures show that the grant is no longer affecting electric vehicle sales and is therefore no longer a necessity.
Sales of electric vehicles continue to rise even without the backing of the government, which shows that the money can be spent elsewhere and used to improve accessibility and increase the number of charging points instead.
This alone will become an incentive to go electric, as people will no longer be put off by the current lack of availability or charging stations. Having access to public charge points may also incentivise those with hybrid vehicles to use more electric and less fuel, as filling stations will no longer be the easiest option.
Current environmental concerns have also spurred a growth in electric vehicle sales. This shows the government is continuing to support and encourage the switch to electric, even after ending the plug-in grant scheme maintains their promise to help reduce emissions.
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