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So much for green thinking politicians!

18 May 2016 Blog

Motorpoint blogger Ken Gibson explains why the battle to get motorists into pure all electric cars has just taken another twist with changes to the Government’s Plug-In Grant Scheme

In the past all new electric and plug-in hybrids were eligible for the full £5,000 grant but under the revisions introduced last month pure electric cars that emit 0 g/km Co2 emissions (and have a range of over 70 miles) are the only category that gets the grant, which by the way, has now been reduced to £4,500. Plug-in hybrid vehicles that emit some C02 emissions habe now been put into two other categories that are only eligible for a £2,500 Government Grant. So much for green thinking politicians!

Pure electric cars that get the full grant include the Nissan Leaf - British built and the UK’s best selling EV - that costs £20,790 - and the Renault Zoe - which costs a more modest £13,945. Not only are good cars but they are practical electric cars for commuters with ranges between 70 and just over 100 mpg - more than adequate for most of us.

I particularly like the Renault Zoe. It's a real super silent super-mini with useful space for four, smart styling and it comes with the additional bonus from Renault of a fitted, free, fast charging home wall box, which would normally cost £500. It does have one slight down side, you have to pay a monthly fee of £45 for the battery.

However, thanks to the changes introduced by not so forward thinking politicans, for the vast majority of us, the much greater fuel economy of the modern diesel (and a new generation of more efficient petrol engines), not to mention cheaper purchase price, means petrol cars will continue to offer a practicality and performance that electric cars can’t match. Given the drive to drastically reduce C02 emissions by the Government, maybe it's time for a re-think on current policy. 

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About the author

Ken Gibson was Motoring Editor for The Sun for 23 years during which time he became one of the best known motoring newspaper journalists in the world. Over that period Ken tested thousands of cars from super minis to SUVs and super cars, and drove millions of miles all over the world.

As well as writing a blog covering the motoring issues of the day, he also independently road tests and creates video reviews on a cross section of cars sold by Motorpoint.