Plug-in vehicles, plugged in policy?

A report from the UK’s Transport Select Committee recently published in Britain has claimed that sales of electric vehicles (EV’s) are on forecast for growth but remain relatively small despite the introduction of a Government plug-in grant.

Incentives offered by the government include financial subsidies for consumers as well as funding for publicly available vehicle charging infrastructure.  Plugged-In Places was launched as a series of trial projects to install these charge points at selected locations across the UK, with the aim of alleviating ‘recharging anxiety’ for EV owners and stimulating demand.

However, according to an interview published on, Dr Nigel Berkeley from Coventry University believes that consumer demand is ‘lagging way behind’ and that the subsidy is ‘pointless’ because the price of the vehicles is still too high. He claims that grants are doing little more than subsidising second cars for affluent households.

The UK Government has so far spent around £11m on making EVs more enticing with the introduction of £5k grants for plug-in cars (£8k for plug-in vans), whilst the Plugged-In Places scheme has delivered 1,600 charging posts across the country. To date, around 1,700 electric car buyers have been eligible for the £5k grant, amounting to around £8.5m.

View the Transport Committee report, ‘Plug-in vehicles, plugged in policy?’ here.


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