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Outrage as government pulls the plug on grant for hybrid cars

Motors | Published:

Motoring organisations condemn subsidy changes that will come into play in under a month, making people pay more for eco-friendly vehicles

Goodwood Festival of Speed

The government is abolishing its plug-in car grant for hybrids – pushing up the price of vehicles for consumers and angering motoring organisations.

From November 9, buyers of plug-in hybrids will no longer receive any subsidy towards the price of a new hybrid car. The incentive, introduced in 2011, was £2,500.

Buyers of fully electric cars or those that can travel 70 miles on electric power alone will still qualify for the plug-in car grant (PICG), although this has been reduced to £3,500 from £4,500.

The Department for Transport claims the changes “reflect the ongoing success of the PICG in increasing uptake of electric vehicles.”

The incentives aimed to encourage more people to switch from conventionally powered vehicles to electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

However, the move has been met with criticism by many motoring groups.

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RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The reduction of the plug-in car grant is a major blow to anyone hoping to go green with their next vehicle choice and makes little sense when we need to focus our efforts on lowering emissions from vehicles.”

Meanwhile, Jack Cousens, head of road policy for the AA, said: “The government wants to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars, but scrapping grants for low-emission cars may well stall their progress.

“Rather than give consumers excuses to shy away from the greenest possible option, the government needs to provide reasons and incentives to convince drivers hybrid and electric cars are the way forward.

“At a time when air quality is of great concern, those who bought diesels in good faith, and with government encouragement, will feel they have been given the cold shoulder rather than a helping hand.”

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