What is the ULEV plug-in car grant?

Updated Tuesday, March 1, 2016 If you're looking to buy an ultra-low emissions vehicle (ULEV) it's worth bearing in mind the plug-in car grant rates have changed, so may not get as much money towards your new motor as you might have thought.

What is a ULEV?

An ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) is a motor vehicle that produces very low levels of carbon dioxide in comparison to other vehicles. In the UK a vehicle must produce no more than 75g/km of CO2 to be considered an ultra-low emission vehicle.

What is the plug-in car grant?

The plug-in car grant is designed to encourage people to buy ULEVs and you can get a grant towards the cost of any ULEV, provided it meets certain conditions. At present, the grant provides 35% of the value of the car up to a maximum of £5,000 (and 20% of the value of a van up to a maximum of £8,000). The new grant levels will be based on the environmental performance of the vehicle. ULEVs will be placed into one of three categories on the basis of their CO2 emissions and zero emission range.

What are the plug-in grant categories and rates?

  • Category 1 – CO₂ emissions below 50g/km and zero emission range of at least 70 miles - £4,500 for eligible vehicles
  • Category 2 – CO₂ emissions below 50g/km and zero emission range from 10 to 69 miles - £2,500 for eligible vehicles
  • Category 3 – CO₂ emissions of 50 to 75g/km and a zero emission range of at least 20 miles - £2,500 for eligible category 3 vehicles
If you ordered a vehicle before the new rates took effect but are taking delivery of it after March 1, you will still get a £5,000 grant as long as the dealer has correctly submitted the claim. The car must be delivered within 9 months of when the claim was submitted. The grant will stay at these levels either until March 2017 or until 40,000 category 1 vehicles and 45,000 combined sales of category 2 and 3 have been sold, whichever is sooner. And sales figures are roughly halfway there now - as of December 2015 there had been 23,000 claims for category 1 vehicles and 28,000 claims for category 2 and 3 vehicles. Vehicles that cost £60,000 and above will no longer be eligible for the grant, but will still  remain eligible for the electric vehicle homecharge scheme (EVHS) grant. Originally published Friday, February 26, 2016

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