Zero-emission van and truck DfT grants to focus more on range and innovation

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The government has published details of changes to its grant scheme for zero-emission vans and trucks. The grants reduce the vehicles’ purchase price, to make them more affordable, compared with diesel-only models.

It is now targeting vans with higher zero-emissions (ZE) ranges, while increasing the number of grants available for ultra-low emission trucks.

The schemes also ensure that in the truck sector the total pot of grant money is shared between as many operators as possible.

Ahead of the 2030 deadline for the ban on sales of new pure petrol/diesel vans, the DfT is ensuring that early adopters get rewarded for switching to ZEVs. Those who wait until the last moments are unlikely to get any grants.

It follows an announcement in the 11 March Budget “recognising that the market for other ultra-low emission vehicles is still at an early stage of development, the government will also provide £129.5 million to extend the plug-in grants for vans, taxis and motorcycles to 2022-23.”

The changes – which come into effect from today – reflect developments in technology in both sectors which are seeing increased ranges and more models coming to market, while ensuring that the spread of grants remains widely available.

The DfT has provided over £100m in funding through the Plug-in Van Grant (PIVG) since its launch in 2012, supporting the purchase of over 15,000 ultra low emission vans and trucks, the majority of which are zero-emission vehicles.  

Demand for ultra-low emission vans is increasing, with an increase of more than 50% in 2020 by end September 2020 (3,320 new PIVG-eligible vans registered), compared with the same period in 2019 (2,155).  

In that time, ultra-low emission vans have risen from 0.8% to 1.8% of the new van market in the UK.

Uptake has been boosted by 11 new models eligible for PIVG coming to market in 2020, including nine vans in the most-popular large van segment.  

Plug-in Van Grant – small vans

The Plug-in Van Grant eligibility criteria will change to focus only on vans with zero-emission ranges of over 60 miles.  

The changes to the Plug-in Van Grant the DfT is announcing from 18 March are and change to the previous scheme which was a grant rate of 20% of purchase price, up to £8,000 for vans under 3.5 tonnes (on average this paid out just under £7,000 per van ordered in 2020) to:

  • 35% of purchase price up to a £3,000 grant for vans less than 2.5 tonnes  
  • 35% of purchase price up to a £6,000 grant for vans 2.5-3.5 tonnes  
  • Eligibility changed so that all eligible vans must emit less than 50gCO2/km and be able to travel at least 60 miles (96km) without any emissions at all.    

Plug-in Van Grant – larger vans and trucks

There is an increase to the number of grants available for innovative ultra-low emission trucks. The changes to the large van/truck grant the DfT is announcing from 18 March see the previous scheme which was 20% of purchase price, up to £20,000, for trucks over 3.5 tonnes (first 200 ordered, limited to 10 per customer) to: 

  • 20% of purchase price, reduced to up to £16,000 for small trucks (>3.5-12 tonnes). For the first 250 ordered per financial year, limited to 10 per customer 
  • 20% of purchase price, increased to up  to £25,000 for large trucks (>12 tonnes). For the first 100 ordered per financial year, limited to 5 per customer.  
  • Eligibility changed so that all eligible vehicles must be able to travel at least 60 miles (96km) without any emissions at all.    

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