“It is extremely disappointing that the Government has chosen to reduce the availability of the plug-in grant as this move can derail the progress our sector has made in decarbonising transport, sends the wrong message to the consumers and will adversely impact less affluent motorists that are seeking a transition to a greener method of transport”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK.
Today, the Government announced a number of changes to the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG), the Plug-in Van Grant (PIVG) and the Plug in Motorcycle Grant (PIMG) rates and eligibility criteria. The new terms apply from 07:00 today (Wednesday 15 December 2021). The Government has temporarily suspended the grant portal as we transition to the new rates. The portal will be available again from around noon today.
A notice from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) says the “Government has a responsibility to manage the grant budget and to deliver value for money for taxpayers and as signalled to industry following the March 2021 grant changes, has therefore been unable to provide notice ahead of the grant changes”.
OZEV added: “Once the webpage has been revised to reflect the grant changes, it is the responsibility of manufacturers or their representatives to notify OZEV if listed vehicles should not be eligible. Orders placed following the update of the webpage for vehicles later found to be priced above the cap will be cancelled. Vehicles eligible for the grant are also being amended on the grant portal”.
NFDA urges the Government to consider a number of issues that will be affecting dealers and customers at an operational level:
- Price transparency: The sudden cut to the grant penalises those customers who were in the midst of choosing an EV but have not yet ordered one and will now see a price change overnight.
- Consumer communications: Without prior notice, dealers now need to go quickly through all of their dealer systems and advertised prices/marketing materials to change prices to ensure they keep customers satisfied.
- Stock: Dealers will be left holding stock that overnight has become more expensive for the consumer.
- Margins: In some instances, dealers have had margins reduced on various models to ensure they fit within the previous £35,000 RRP Cap. With already small margins, they will now have vehicles in stock that are significantly more expensive on both outright purchase and monthly payments.
Sue Robinson added: “Cutting the grant strongly disincentivises EV adoption across the UK. This, in turn, will exacerbate the unequal, regional EV uptake gap. While the market share of EVs is growing at an impressive rate, it is premature to reduce the levels of this support to the consumer and send the wrong message to the public, especially as other G7 nations continue to ramp up consumer support.
“We have already spoken with the Department for Transport to outline our concerns and we will continue to liaise with the Government. We encourage our members to contact us if they require any assistance or clarification”.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Gabriele Severini, NFDA Communications Manager
Tel: 0207 307 3423
Mob: 07880 039 897
Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) is the trade association representing franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK. The automotive retail sector is one of the pillars of the UK economy, it has a turnover of around £220 billion and employs 540,000 people. There are about 4,500 automotive franchised retailer outlets in the UK.
NFDA is the voice of automotive retailers.
For further guidance, please visit the Industry Issues page on the NFDA website here.
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.