No more hybrid subsidies in UK
The British car industry has expressed “surprise and disappointment” at a decision to strip buyer incentives from green vehicles.
Plug-in hybrid cars such as the Audi A3 e-tron and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV previously attracted buyer incentives of up to £2,500 ($4600) to encourage people to take up the technology.
Those subsidies no longer apply to existing plug-in hybrid models, and electric vehicle subsidies have been reduced by £1000 ($1800) as part of changes which take place in November.
Mitsubishi’s UK arm said the decision “is completely at odds with the Government’s stated objective of making the UK a world leader in green mobility in the future”, and that “there is no question that the plug-in car grant played a crucial role in establishing the EV and Plug-in Hybrid markets in the UK, giving consumers confidence in the technology and making the relatively expensive technology more attainable”.
Rob Lindley, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said “the decision to suddenly end grant support for some of the greenest vehicles on the road is extremely disappointing”.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Mike Hawes says the British government needs to rethink its policy.
“Given the importance of environmental goals, it’s astounding that just three months after publishing its ambitious vision for a zero emissions future, government has slashed the very incentive that offers our best chance of getting there,” he says.
Electric car subsidies have played a vital role in popularising green tech in many markets. Significant subsidies are not in place in Australia.
The Greens are the only major political party promising significant electric vehicle incentives, [promising to remove import duties, stamp duty, registration fees and GST from new electric vehicles, while slugging cars priced over $65,000 with a luxury fossil fuels car tax in addition to the current luxury car tax.
People who buy an electric car in the US are eligible to receive a $7500 federal tax credit in addition to local and state bonuses.
The credit only applies to the first 200,000 electric cars produced by any manufacturer, which puts Tesla in a difficult position as it approaches that mark for domestic sales.
The brand says customers in the US who place an order before October 15 will likely be eligible for the full $7500 rebate, while people who order cars in coming months may miss out.
That subsidy could prove to be a boost to rivals such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Jaguar which are preparing to launch new luxury electric cars in coming months.
All will benefit from the $7500 subsidy for some time to come.
David McCowen is Drive’s news editor, combining automotive passion with more than a decade of reporting experience. Dave is often found at a racetrack – either in the press room, or driving his hot hatch.