New electric van grants

In January 2012, the UK government’s Department of Transport announced that its green car grant scheme would be extended to include vans, cutting the cost price of ultra low emission electric vans by 20% or up to £8,000

The Plug-in Car Grant, launched in 2011, offers grants of 25% towards new green cars and will run until 2015.

Eligibility criteria for the grants are strict: vans must be new, emit less than 75g of C02 per kilometre, be capable of a range of at least 60 miles between charges and be able to reach speeds of over 50mph. They must also meet European Type Approval standards.

At present sales of electric commercial vehicles are much lower than those for electric cars, but more models will be released on to the market in 2012.

The minister for transport, Norman Baker said the scheme is designed to help individuals and businesses adopt new, cleaner technology: “It will help to improve local air quality in our cities, reduce carbon emissions and meet government targets. The technology fits well with a large portion of the van market that relies on short urban trips to and from base.”