Mar 012012

Electric Van Grants

The British government has announced plans to offer grants to businesses who buy electric vans, as part of a range of new subsidies designed to boost the plug-in vehicle industry and promote a reduction in emissions. The new grants mean up to £8,000 can be claimed back on seven vans that qualify under the measures. These include the Transit Connect Electric by Azure Dynamic, the Vito E-Cell by Daimler-Mercedes Benz, the Ecomile and Jolly 2000 by Faam, the U by Mia, the Kangoo ZE by Renault and the Smith Edison by Smith Electric. In addition, the government added the Mia and Mia L models, in the Mia Electric range, to the list of vans qualifying under the scheme.

Renault ZE Electric Van

Renault ZE Electric Van


To be eligible for the grant, vehicles are required to produce emissions lower than 75 grams of CO2 per kilometre, have a range of a minimum of 60 miles per charge, be capable of a top speed over 50 miles per hour and be certified by the European Vehicle Type Approval. Hybrids that can do at least 10 miles in electric mode also qualify.

Plug-in Cheaper

Announcing the new grants on February 21, British Transport Secretary Justine Greening said the new government subsidies would go a long way to making plug-in vehicles cheaper to buy and run compared to their diesel and petrol equivalents.

Huge Fuel Savings

Alongside the very generous £8,000 grant getting an electric vehicle also makes excellent business sense, because a business will typically spend £100 less in fuel for every 1,000 miles the car drives.

Save 20%

Overall, the government grants are equal to a 20 per cent reduction on the price of a new electric van, a saving which is multiplied once the vehicle is running due to the lower cost of recharging compared to refueling a diesel or petrol van. In addition, these vans also incur lower taxes based on their emissions and are not subject to the congestion charge in central London, making them even more attractive to run in the capital.

Renault Kangoo ZE the cheapest

The retail prices of these vehicles remain competitive in spite of this range of concessions. The cheapest of the seven is the Renault Kangoo ZE, which starts at £16,990 without the government grant, while the Vito-E Cell by Daimler-Mercedes Benz comes in at £17,420. With the grant added, the cheapest vehicle drops to around £13,000.

Announcement Welcomed

Large companies that purchase vans to carry out their work, including utilities companies BT and British Gas, said they welcomed the news as they look to reduce emissions within their operations. Meanwhile, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which had been lobbying for such measures, also welcomed the announcement.

Vauxhall Ampera - Electric Car

Vauxhall Ampera - Electric Car

The statement comes after a similar scheme by the British government, designed to make electric cars more affordable, turned out to be a flop. Despite grants that apply to vehicles like the Vauxhall Ampera E-REV, only about 1,000 electric vehicles were registered as part of the program by the end of last year.

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