Changes to the Government’s plug-in car grant scheme have led to a surge in sales of ultra-low emission cars – according to the RAC Foundation.
The plug-in car grant (PICG) was first introduced in 2011 in a bid to stimulate the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles.
The changes to the scheme, announced on 11 October, mean that the grant for Category 1 vehicles – broadly those that are pure battery electric – is being reduced from £4,500 to £3,500.
In addition, Category 2 and 3 vehicles – mainly plug-in hybrids – will no longer be eligible for the grant.
The changes were due to be implemented on 10 November – unless a total of 3,000 Category 1 and 6,000 Category 2 and 3 cars were sold before then.
That 9,000 total was actually reached just 10 days after the announcement says the RAC Foundation, with an average of 900 claims being made daily.
This compares with the 25,624 grants – 140 a day – that were claimed in the first half of 2018.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Whilst ministers might have fallen out of love with hybrid technology, this last-minute rush to showrooms suggests the reassurance of running in part on conventional fuel is attractive to buyers with range anxiety, especially when it comes at an attractive price.
“The big question is whether motorists’ enthusiasm for hybrids will hold up now that the plug has been pulled on the grant.”