The government has extended the Plug-in-Van grant scheme to larger electric vans and trucks.
Operators may now be eligible for grants up to £20,000 if they replace their larger conventionally-powered vans and trucks with electric vehicles.
The extension of the Plug-In Van grant will mean N2 category vehicles (3.5 – 12 tonnes gross weight) and N3 vehicles (over 12 tonnes gross weight) are now eligible.
Only new vehicles are covered by the grant, although it does include pre-registration conversions. These are normal, internal combustion engine vans etc that were converted to battery or hybrid versions by specialist convertors before the vehicle’s first registration.
Since 2012, the grant has been available to small commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes, however sales of new electric vans have remained limited.
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) believes extending the scheme will stimulate demand, and consequently encourage new entrants into the electric van market.
Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: “The electric car revolution is well underway with consumers and this funding will encourage more businesses to consider switching to cleaner vans and trucks.”
The £4m grant scheme will be reviewed once 5,000 grants have been processed, or in March 2018, whichever is earlier.
The grant amount is automatically deducted from the price of the vehicle by the dealer when it is purchased, and the dealership also completes all the necessary paperwork.
Rachael Dillon, FTA’s climate change policy manager, said: “We are delighted that government has recognised that freight operators need support as much as other vehicle users to adopt greener fuels and technologies in order to reduce carbon and contribute to improved air quality.
“The cost of an electric vehicle can be prohibitive so any financial support that government can give may allow operators to make the business case to invest.”