What grants are available for electric car buyers in the UK?
Thinking of switching to an electric car? You’re probably already well aware of their excellent eco credentials, and while you may be keen to do your bit for the environment, one factor that might be off-putting is they can be more expensive to buy than traditional petrol or diesel vehicles.
The good news is that there are electric car grants available in the UK to offset the expense of electric vehicles and incentivise motorists to make the change. Learn more about what electric car buyers are eligible for, so you can hit the road with an ultra-low or zero emission car – without hitting your wallet too hard.
Purchase grants and incentives
To encourage more people to make the switch to electric vehicles, the government is offering an electric car grant to buyers of new plug-in cars. From March 2021, this grant will pay for 35% of the purchase price of an all-electric vehicle with a list price of under £35,000, and is capped at a maximum of £2,500. To be eligible for the grant, an electric vehicle’s CO2 emissions must be less than 59g/km, and it needs to be able to travel for 70 miles without emitting any CO2. Hybrid vehicles are exempt. There are plenty to choose from, as the number of models available under this price point has increased by 50% since 2019.
You don’t need to do anything to access these funds. Your dealer will discount the purchase price to reflect the value of the grant.
Charger grants and incentives at home
So you’ve bought your electric vehicle and you’re on to the next challenge: charging. Enter the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), an electric car charging point grant. It’s also known as the OLEV or OZEV grant, as it was provided by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, which is now the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles.
While the number of public charging points is on the rise – 29,232 and counting – many electric car owners appreciate the convenience of being able to charge their cars at home. Installing a charger at home can be costly though, so the EVHS offers money off the cost of buying and installing domestic chargepoints, up to a maximum of £350.
One important update to note is that the eligibility criteria for claiming the OZEV grant will change on 1st April 2022. Up until that date, to qualify, you’ll need to:
Have off-street parking at your property
Purchase an eligible electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, or lease one for at least six months
Not have already claimed the grant for your eligible vehicle
Not exceed the maximum of two charging points per household funded by OZEV
In short, to qualify for the £350 OZEV grant under these criteria, your EV charger needs to be installed before 1st April 2022.
From 1st April onwards, a new set of criteria will come into effect. The biggest change will be that homeowners with off-street parking will no longer qualify for the grant, but other types of housing (e.g. apartments and rental accommodation) will be supported. Please see the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme for further guidance on the upcoming changes.
In Scotland, the Energy Savings Trust offers an extra £250 (£350 in remote areas) of funding on top of the EVHS, as long as chargepoints are fitted by one of their approved installers.
Charger grants and incentives at work
If you own a business and want to provide chargers for your employees, the Workplace Charging Scheme offers a similar grant. The voucher-based scheme provides 75% of the cost of buying and installing charges, up to £350 for each one and for a maximum of 40 sockets.
Save with the British Gas EV tariff
Charge your electric vehicle for less with the Electric Drivers, the British Gas electric car tariff, which offers cheaper off-peak electricity between midnight and 5am. As well as saving money, it helps the environment too. We match 100% of the electricity you use on this tariff by buying the same amount from renewable sources through Guarantees of Origin.
To take advantage of this rate, you’ll need to:
Charge your electric vehicle at home
Have a British Gas electricity smart meter
Buy both your gas and electricity from us
Manage your account online