Every Electric Car Scheme/Incentive: A Complete UK Guide
Taking advantage of the right electric car scheme/incentive will be paramount in saving you quite a lot of money in the long haul.
And it doesn’t apply to individuals either.
There are EV incentives that apply to businesses too, such as the workplace charging scheme. Moreover, there are tax benefits that come from taking an electric leap of faith.
Why are these incentives in place?
The answer is simple.
To encourage the early adoption of electric-powered vehicles before it’s made mandatory.
You see, the UK is betting big on electric vehicles, going so far as to place a ban on new petrol/diesel cars by 2030.
Over £1.8 billion in investment has gone into infrastructure and grants to increase access to zero-emission vehicles and promote a greener economy.
Getting ahead of the electric curve doesn’t have to be an expensive process.
You’ll know that first hand once you’ve finished reading on below.
Saving money on a new EV is possible via grants/schemes
Electric Plug In Grant
Sales of EVs in the UK jumped by 132% in 2020 in the face of a global pandemic, which is impressive for many reasons.
The Model 3 in particular has had a very good year, unlike the rest of us.
Easily one of the most beneficial — and searched for — electric car schemes is the plug in grant.
This grant basically gives you money towards the purchase of a brand new vehicle.
You can save up to £2,500 total, making up 35% (roughly) of the cost.
We should state that this only applies to a select number of vehicles — those that emit less than 50g/km and can travel at least 112km (70 miles) without releasing any emissions.
Vehicles like the BMW i3, Fiat 500e, Skoda ENYAQ iV 60 Nav and Volkswagen Corsa-e are but a few examples.
Electric motorcycles and mopeds aren’t left out either. With the plug in grant, you can save 20% of the cost (up to £1,500).
For the sake of readability, here’s a full breakdown of each vehicle type and how much you can save:
- Electric Cars: 35% of the cost saved (up to £2,500)
- Electric Motorcycles/Mopeds: 20% of the cost saved (up to £1,500)
- Electric Vans: 20% of the cost saved (up to £8,000)
- Electric Trucks: 20% of the cost saved (up to £20,000)
- Electric Taxis: 20% of the cost saved (up to £7,500)
The plug in grant is administered by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), a team backed by an impressive £900 million in funding.
In fact, OZEV oversees many key policies/incentives tied to ZEVs (zero emission vehicles).
You’ve more than likely heard of them if you’ve already completed some light research on schemes?
Additional Electric Car Scheme Benefits For Scotland
*This section applies to Scottish residents only*
The Scottish government are also helping out potential buyers through an interest-free loan to go towards EVs.
Loans offered can cover up to £28,000 of the costs.
You’ll need to pay it all back over a period of 6 years. Still, it is interest-free, which will appeal to the majority of people reading this.
Moreover, the vehicle will need to be a pure (fully) electric vehicle.
There are terms and conditions to this electric car scheme in that applicants can’t already own an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.
From September 2020, Transport Scotland extended its criteria for the EV loan to cover used EVs alongside new models.
Amongst the eligible vehicles are the Long Range Tesla Model 3 and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Two vehicles that will be turning some serious heads should you choose to head in this direction (or can afford them).
Additional Electric Car Scheme Benefits For Northern Ireland
*This section applies to Northern Ireland residents only*
Northern Ireland, specifically SEAI (sustainable energy authority of Ireland), have exclusive incentives of its own.
Incentives that apply to privately bought EVs, and those bought with commercial value in mind.
A maximum grant of €5,000 is available for all qualifying EVs when bought from an individual standpoint.
Unfortunately, the EV you choose will need to have a list price of more than €14,000 to qualify for this electric car scheme. There is a cap on the maximum price of the vehicle, too (€60,000).
We can’t see it being that difficult to find a decent ride within those parameters.
Understand that you’ll receive more money if the vehicle you want is a BEV (all-electric type) over a PHEV (plug in hybrid).
The difference in grant money received is pretty significant.
For example, a vehicle priced greater than €20,000 will receive €5,000 in funding, whereas a PHEV in the same category will only give you €2,500 total.
It’s a rule that applies to other list prices.
At the other end of the financing scale, vehicles priced between €14,000 to €15,000 will award €2,000 (BEVs) and €1,000 (PHEVs), respectively.
The SEAI grant also applies to commercially bought EVs (vehicles bought by businesses/public entities), gifting up to €3,800.
These vehicles will need to fit in the N1 category to be considered for the grant.
What’s an N1 category vehicle?
Typically, this covers vehicles like small goods carrying vans; vans that don’t exceed a 3500kg weight limit.
Like privately bought EVs, these vehicles will need to be above the €14,000 price point.
Easily one of the largest incentives to own an electric vehicle is the fact that you don’t pay road tax (pure electric vehicles only).
With an all-electric vehicle, you pay zero road tax — as long as the vehicle costs less than £40,000.
There are local parking benefits that also apply to EV owners. Discounted and free parking are fantastic ways of getting drivers interested in making the switch.
In London, all-electric vehicles and plug in hybrids are exempt from the dreaded congestion charge — at least until December 2025.
The rules surrounding EVs and congestion charges are due to change very soon.
From October of this year, only all-electric vehicles will apply. Meaning, if you are the owner of a hybrid, you will be expected to pay a congestion charge.
You can learn more about EVs and congestion charges here.
And let’s not forget about the overall benefits you get from owning an electric vehicle.
Increased acceleration and performance are hallmarks of electrified vehicles. You’re also doing your part to help the planet, which for some, is all they need to hear in order to transition.
You also get to drive around with green licence plates, which is pretty cool in its own right.
Charging at home has many unique advantages
Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme
You could say that EV charging is still in its infancy in the UK at the moment, given the number of stations now vs those that are due to pop up anytime now.
According to EDF Energy, there are more than 42,000 charge point connectors across the UK at the moment, spread out over 15,500 locations.
That being said, the benefits of owning a home charger tend to outweigh public charging based on convenience and overall costs.
Home charging is growing in popularity, but it can be somewhat expensive as you need to factor in additional installation costs if you’re on the lookout for a faster charger.
The electric vehicle homecharge scheme (or EVHS) will help take some of the weight off, cost-wise, guaranteed.
So, how much will you save?
Up to 75% of the cost will be covered (capped at £350). This includes the purchase of the charging unit and the installation fee.
We should state that from March 2022, the electric vehicle homecharge scheme will be limited to those in flats and rental properties only.
So you might want to apply fast if you’re a homeowner looking to install your own personal car charger.
Additional Electric Chargepoint Benefits For Scotland
The Scots get the better end of the deal as they have access to an additional grant of up to £300. A grant that can be added to the aforementioned electric vehicle homecharge scheme ran by OZEV.
Furthermore, if you live in rural areas of Scotland, the Energy Saving Trust — the group behind the grant — will add an additional £100 to sweeten the pot.
The ‘Domestic Charge Point Grant Application’ shouldn’t take you that long to fill in.
Ensure that you reap the financial rewards of this particular charging scheme if you’re from Scotland.
Merging this scheme with the OZEV one could cover the entire cost of your charger/its installation vs a big chunk of it.
Charging from work allows you to go that extra mile
Workplace Charging Scheme
The electric vehicle homecharge scheme isn’t the only incentive grouped with charging.
The workplace charging grant is a voucher-based scheme that covers the upfront costs for purchasing and installing charging stations at your place of work.
Firms can cover 75% of the costs up to £350 for every socket placed. There is a limit to the number of sockets businesses can install (40), but still.
It’s better than paying full price for what could be over two dozen sockets.
A previous version of this electric charging scheme granted up to £500 to go towards every socket, but it did limit the number of how many one could install outright (20).
This grant is set to go through some big changes in the next year or so.
Soon the workplace charging scheme will be opened up to small to medium companies and the charity sector.
These changes could prove the difference-maker in rural areas and help ease those range anxiety fears you hear so much about.
It gets better.
There are company tax benefits to installing charging stations at a place of work. Companies that step into the future can access benefits via a 100% first-year allowance for expenditure incurred when buying EV equipment.
If you’re based in Scotland, the Energy Saving Trust has additional financial aid for you.
How much these businesses receive is dependent on the number of units they wish to install and the type of company it is.
Take advantage of these schemes will you can
Every Electric Car Scheme/Incentive: A Complete UK Guide
Will these electric car schemes/initiatives be around forever?
Probably not as we pull closer to 2030 and the impending ban on the sale of ICE types.
In other words, you might want to act fast to save some serious moolah.
Governments across the UK understand the current hesitation amongst certain buyers, which explains why electric car schemes/grants/initiatives exist in the first place.
Saving thousands of pounds on a new electric vehicle — and home charging unit — is no joke and should be considered paramount, like we said at the top of the post.
It doesn’t have to be a brand new EV either. There are incentives we’ve mentioned above that apply to used/second-hand electric options too.
EVs aren’t the cheapest purchases in the world (seriously, take a look at the cost of any Tesla). You could say the same for certain electric vehicle chargers.
So why wouldn’t you want to save money wherever you can (while you can)?
Electric Car Scheme/Incentive FAQs
What benefits come from owning an electric car?
Driving around in an electric car has multiple benefits outside of being great for the environment. EVs are known for increased performance/acceleration. Not to mention, there are fewer running costs as charging is cheaper than standard fuel.
What is the UK EV plug in grant?
The grant is there to help with the costs of buying a brand new EV. You can save up to 35% (£3,000 tops) when taking advantage of this electric car scheme. The plug in grant applies to all eligible cars, vans and motorcycles.
What is the workplace charging scheme?
This particular electric car scheme is tied to businesses directly. The workplace charging scheme helps with the upfront costs of purchasing and installing EV chargers where you work. Businesses can save up to 75% of costs (40 sockets max).
Do the government give you a grant for an electric car?
There are multiple electric car schemes out there for you to take advantage of at the moment. The plug in car grant, electric vehicle homecharge scheme and workplace charging scheme are the main three. Scottish residents actually have way more options at their disposal.