The British government isn’t willing to subsidize the plug-in hybrid cars again after removing the £2,500 Plug-In Car Grant for PHEVs and decreasing the amount for BEVs from £4,500 to £3,500 in October 2018.
Jesse Norman, UK’s minister of state for the Department for Transport, told Autocar that the focus is now on all-electric cars and the government will not reinstate the plug-in hybrid grant.
One of the reasons against PHEVs is that there were examples of people who bought PHEVs to get incentives, but then didn’t charge the cars. Instead, they used them as conventional hybrids.
“We have to spend the tax payers’ money in a way that reflects the changing market. The evidence was very clear: owners of plug-in hybrids were not plugging them in, negating the environmental benefits and undermining the incentives.
“Instead, our focus is very much on pushing battery electric vehicles. It’s where we have to get to and where we can see the biggest benefits.”
“I expect the prices of electric cars to come down dramatically in the same way, and I’m not prepared to spend tax payers’ money incentivising technology that doesn’t reflect this changing market.”
Plug-in hybrid car sales in the UK decreased so far this year by over 20%, including 34% in April. Part of the reason is the required WLTP certification, which eliminated a lot of PHEVs from the market, as manufacturers sometimes preferred to certify next-generation versions.
PHEV manufacturers (like Mitsubishi which offers the best selling PHEV in UK/Europe – the Outlander PHEV) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) “had vigorously campaigned for an incentive to be reintroduced”, but it seems that the policy changed for good.