The UK government has this week cut the electric car grant from £3,000 to £2,500, effective immediately, and excluded models that cost more than £35,000.
Mark Barrett, general manager of Harris Maxus has highlighted the company’s disappointment in this sudden announcement and said it could “stall” zero-emission targets.
He said: “This is a retrograde step by the government that comes without any warning and at a time when incentives are vital to encouraging drivers and fleet buyers to make the switch to greener motoring.
“If we are to move to a zero-emission market, significant government supports are needed given the current higher cost of EV vehicles.
“A lower EV grant has the potential to stall the good progress being made in meeting the targets and deadlines that have been set to achieve a zero-emission market.”
Mr Barrett added: “There is a growing range of EV vans in the market and many tenders in process waiting to be awarded. This move by government will alter the dynamic of commercial fleet tenders for which price is a huge factor and may now result in fleet buyers delaying the move to electric.
“Harris Maxus is extremely disappointed with the government’s announcement. There should have been consultation with OEMs to ascertain what EVs are in production and the level of tenders or quotes that are in train using the higher OLEV support amount. We all knew that the grants were never going to be forever and would, over time, be reduced.
“However, the sector should have been given a lead in time of at least six months to allow us to prepare for the changes, address pending orders etc.
“Notwithstanding this week’s announcement, Maxus will continue to do all that we can through innovation, education and choice, to help people make the switch and understand not only the benefits, but also the real TCO (total cost of ownership) of buying and running an EV van.”