EV charging incentives in the UK are a hot topic for businesses and individuals who want to switch to an EV or electrify their corporate fleet. We prepared this detailed guide to help you easily find all available options to subsidize your transition to electric vehicles.

Introduction

There was over a 90% drop in overall car sales in the UK in 2020, but that barely concerns the sales of electric vehicles since they have, for the first time, beaten diesel.

One of the few governments with a comprehensive strategy for electrification is the UK government. They have officially implemented an electrification strategy called the Road to Zero strategy and  Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV). Take both of these policies into consideration and add the public attitude, becoming more and more environmentally friendly. The big picture for the next decade is set for an enormous e-mobility uptake in the UK.

This article is about getting into EV and EV charging incentives and policies in the United Kingdom.

EV Incentives in the UK

10% of total car sales are made up of alternatively fuelled vehicles.

The number of electric cars registered in the UK as of the end of March 2021 was more than 495,000 plug-in vehicles with approx. 235,000 BEVs and 260,000 PHEVs registered. In 2020 we saw the biggest annual increase in the number of registrations, with more than 175,000 electric vehicles registered showing a growth of 66% on 2019.

total-number-of-electric-vehicles-in-the-uk

Why are EVs becoming so popular?

There is no simple answer, but it seems that the new Tesla release in 2018 is a massive factor. The sales of this model tripled in 2019 and led to a 150% growth in EV sales in 2020. The main reason is the UK Government trying to push towards zero emissions and the increased climate awareness, sharpened by the COVID-19 breakout.

It is time for us to find out more about the EV incentives available in the UK.

National EV Incentives for Individuals and Businesses

Subsidies

  • Purchase grant: buyers can receive up to with the Plug-in Car Grant:
    • depending on the model, 35% of the cost of an electric car could be saved (up to a max. of £2,500) 
    • 20% of the cost of a moped or an electric motorcycle (up to a maximum of £1,500). 
    • 20% of the cost of a large electric van or truck (up to a maximum of £20,000 for the first 200 orders, after that up to a maximum of £8,000). 
    • electric van can reduce their cost by 20%(up to a maximum of £8,000). 
    • 20% of the cost of an electric taxi (up to a maximum of £7,500). 
  • Everything mentioned is administered by OZEV. The car dealers will include the value of the grant in the vehicle’s price without any required actions from the clients themselves.
  • Here is a link where car manufacturers and dealerships can apply to participate.

Tax Benefits

  • Ownership tax: Every pure electric vehicle costing less than £40,000 is exempt from the VED(annual road tax).
  • Company car tax:
    • companies that buy EVs can write down 100% of the purchase value against their corporation tax liability if the EV emits no more than 50g/km CO2 (paying just 1% CCT in 2021, and 2% in 2022);
    • plug-in EVs emitting less than 50g/km of CO2 have their company car tax set at 16% in 2020, which is 4-8% lower than the tax on fossil-fueled company vehicles.

There is a maximum grant of €3,800 available for commercially bought EVs in Northern Ireland and a max grant of €5,000 for those bought privately. Find out more here.

Local and Regional EV Incentives for Individuals and Businesses

In Scotland, the government offers an interest-free loan to support drivers switching to a hybrid car or an EV. These loans are going up to £35,000, covering the cost of purchasing a new electric/hybrid vehicle. The payments are for 6 years. Find out more here.

Until 2025 EVs and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) in London are exempt from London’s Congestion Charge scheme.

In some localities, there is discounted and free parking for EVs.

Additional benefits: There is a government plan to hand out special green number plates for EV owners.  The idea behind that is to benefit from local incentives, such as free parking, using bus lanes and accessing areas cut-off from regular vehicles.

EV Charging Incentives in the UK

What about charging?

There is a growing network of EV chargers over the country.

The most popular businesses offering EV charging points are BP, Ionity, Tesco, Chargemaster, and VW.

With these being some of the most sought-after locations in the UK – it’s evident that charging points are becoming more and more common.

Zap-Map is a platform allowing EV drivers to locate and navigate to available EV charging points.

According to their platform in 2021, there are around 23,342 charging points equipped with multiple connectors, bringing up the total of EV charging plugs around the country to a massive 40,176. Can you believe that this is more than five times greater than in 2011?

These facts gradually turn EV charging points into genuine competition for the 68,000 petrol pumps in the UK. 

Have you heard of Boris Johnson’s vision of a land filled with EV chargers?

The policy of the Conservative party is committed to investing more in green technologies. That, of course, has to do with the upcoming elections. The prime minister’s grand plan would see everyone in England and Wales within 30 miles of a public charging point. 

The party detailed over £1,1bn for EV charging, infrastructure and payment grants.

 The existing money covers some of the following procedures:

  • Motorway service areas and large fuel retailers will offer charge points.
  • All houses constructed in the coming years, where appropriate, will be electric vehicle ready.

National EV Charging Incentives for Individuals and Businesses

Subsidies

EV and EV Charging Incentives in the UK: A Complete Guide - EV charging incentives in the UK are a hot topic for businesses and individuals who want to switch to an EV or electrify their corporate fleet. We prepared this detailed guide to help you easily find all available options to subsidize your transition to electric vehicles.

EV charger grant for homes

EVHS enables individual clients of eligible EVs to get up to 75% ( £350 cap, inc. VAT) of one electric vehicle charger’s total purchase and installation expenses for their home. Company automobiles and leased vehicles are also eligible. Installers can apply here.

EV and EV Charging Incentives in the UK: A Complete Guide - EV charging incentives in the UK are a hot topic for businesses and individuals who want to switch to an EV or electrify their corporate fleet. We prepared this detailed guide to help you easily find all available options to subsidize your transition to electric vehicles.

EV charger grant for workplaces

the Workplace Chargepoint Grant is a coupon-based system that provides the upfront expenses for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging points at workplaces:

EV and EV Charging Incentives in the UK: A Complete Guide - EV charging incentives in the UK are a hot topic for businesses and individuals who want to switch to an EV or electrify their corporate fleet. We prepared this detailed guide to help you easily find all available options to subsidize your transition to electric vehicles.

Until the 1st of April 2020

Companies can cover 75% of all purchase and installation expenses, up to a maximum of £500 for each device, for up to 20 across all locations. Installers can apply here.

EV and EV Charging Incentives in the UK: A Complete Guide - EV charging incentives in the UK are a hot topic for businesses and individuals who want to switch to an EV or electrify their corporate fleet. We prepared this detailed guide to help you easily find all available options to subsidize your transition to electric vehicles.

After the 1st of April 2020

companies can cover 75% of all purchase and installation expenses, up to a maximum of £350 for each device, for up to 40 across all locations. Installers can apply here.

Tax Benefits

  • Company Tax Benefits: companies that install charging infrastructure can obtain tax benefits by a 100% first-year allowance (FYA) for payments on electric vehicle charging accessories.

Local and Regional EV Incentives for Individuals and Businesses

Subsidies

  • Homes in Scotland are eligible for EV charger grants: the EST enables individual buyers of eligible electric vehicles to secure a grant for up to £300 of the total purchase and installation expenses of one electric vehicle charger for their place, with an additional £100 ready for those in rural Scotland. People can get this money on top of the £350 OZEV grant stated above. You can apply here.
  • EV charger grant for workplaces in Scotland: the EST enables companies to secure funding for the purchase and installation expenses of electric vehicle chargers for their workplace. The specific number of electric vehicle chargers for which financial support can be granted depends on the amount and type of firm and staff-owned EVs. For more the application and more information, click here.

Support to Develop EV Charging Infrastructure for Local Authorities

We will give only a brief overview of some of the 408 councils in the UK in terms of EV charging incentives. Local authorities are of utmost importance for the growth of e-mobility in the UK. That’s natural since they often rely on competitively awarded central government funds. 

We will give only a brief overview of some of the 408 councils in the UK in terms of EV charging incentives. Local authorities are of utmost importance for the growth of e-mobility in the UK. That’s natural since they often rely on competitively awarded central government funds. 

Programs such as Ultra Low Emission Taxis, Go Ultra Low Cities, and Low Emission Buses are core for the local EV climate in the country. You should take advantage of those programs because some of them will be available for just a few years.

And none of us knows people that will refuse “free” money.

This system, like every other, has its downsides. Many local councils do not have the skills, time, or in-house knowledge to apply for these bids.

That is not even the end of it – the councils that win the bids cannot correctly account for conditions in the area, and they can’t cover the planning policy requirements. This is not strange, given the fact that they are rarely partaking in the creation of such initiatives. Funding isn’t coming as easy as it should, too.

Examples of central government programs, such as the On-Street Residential Charge Point Scheme, are providing only a limited % of the financial support for EV charging infrastructure. A circumstance is leaving local councils lacking the funds to support and maintain the infrastructure over time fully.

As a result, some geographical inequalities across the UK are occurring.

Some regions are excelling at providing the charging infrastructure needed for EVs, while others are falling far behind. 

The government in the UK is currently exploring various solutions to these issues. Shortly, the idea is to provide all localities with suitable funds and guidance to reduce these interregional inequalities.

The On-Street Residential Charge point Scheme (ORCS)

Local authorities have taken the opportunity to receive help and guidance to install on-street charging points. This is happening through the On-Street Residential Charge point Scheme (ORCS).

It includes the opportunity to earn a part-fund grant of 75% of the capital costs to acquire and install on-street EV charge points in residential zones.

The Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles provides up to £6,500/charge point installation. Local projects should not exceed more than £100,000 in OZEV funding. 

This trend is continuing since an additional £20m was granted to continue the scheme in the next two years.

A check is available if local authorities are part of the ORCS in the link down here.        

on-street charging

Overview of Government Electrification Initiatives & Policies in the UK

The Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV)

The UK government, in particular – the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport, are the main forces behind the team of OZEV. They are backed by over £900 million in fundingAll of this is happening to support the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV).

You may be wondering why all of this is this happening?

This team aims to position the United Kingdom in ULEV development, use, and manufacture in the top spots. By achieving their goals, they hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in the country. In this modern world. There is also the craving for economic growth. 

OZEV oversees several key policies and initiatives promoting EV adoption in the UK, including research programmes, business consulting, EV grants for ULEVs, the development of the ULEV manufacturing process and many more.

This government team founded the OZEV, but it is supported by industry and academic staff on secondment.

OZEV: Go Ultra Low Campaign

In this next section, we will turn our heads in the direction of one of the leading OZEV projects. The Go Ultra Low campaign is a perfect example of how businesses and the national authorities can work together for the greater good. To be fair, it is an ambitious joint project of the automotive industry, the Government, which is supported by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and OZEV.

Everything in this campaign is focused on awareness-raising and the education of prospective EV buyers in the UK. Citizens can find all the information about buying an EV and using all the benefits of that purchase.

On the Go Ultra Low website, people can find answers to all sorts of questions, such as choosing the right EV, how to charge your vehicle at home, which energy rate to go for and many more.

That is not even the best part! 

All of the information on how to fully capitalise on all UK incentives about EVs and their charging is also available.

OZEV did an excellent job with the automatic enrollment of all recipients of the plug-in car grant into Go Ultra Low.

There are also tools to calculate how much money an EV would save you against the conventional car owner.

The Road to Zero Strategy

The RTZS (Road to Zero Strategy) plans the way the Government will facilitate the transition to zero-emission road transport. It also covers issues with the reduction of emissions from conventional vehicles during the transition. The Road to Zero Strategy has a massive budget of £290m and it is dedicated to encouraging the use of low-emission vehicles.

The laying of the foundations of the transition has started!

This strategy isn’t all about the short term results, quite the contrary – it is long term in ambition. RTZS is all about calculating risks and opportunities until at least 2050.

The Transport Energy Model (TEM)

The Department of Transport develops the Transport Energy Model. They have had help from all sorts of groups, such as academia, industry, government, and environmental groups.

It’s built to assess energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution of a wide variety of technologies and road transport fuels over the period to 2050.

TEM includes comparisons of all sorts of fuel options and vehicles for all kinds of EVs.

The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund

In September 2019, the UK government announced a £500m grant for the development of green technologies for a cleaner and healthier future”.

80% of it will be allocated towards a Charging Infrastructure Investment fund. It will be managed by private sector partners, who will pay for half the fund (£200 million). The first part of the investment will be £70 million provided by the car company Masdar and the Government of the UK. The money will create 3000 new rapid charge points, which will more than double the current number of rapid charge points across the country by 2024.

OZEV and many other government departments are currently working on the Road to Zero strategy, intending to end the sale of fossil-powered vehicles by 2040. Their policies include covering commercial vehicles, charging infrastructure, public transport and many more. 

We have covered these in more detail above, so let’s get to our conclusion.

Conclusion

According to a recent Deloitte report, almost half of the consumers would consider buying an EV as their next car.

There is an expected price drop in EV prices over the next decade, and the UK is getting its EV charging infrastructure ready, which should boost EVs market share more and more.

The UK Government is looking to incentivise people to go green and choose EVs over fossil-fueled cars to stay on their planned “road to zero”.

There still are some barriers, though. 

The UK will have to manage the issues around charging capacity, price and lack of EV chargers in local areas.

The most probable course of action is to launch a communications campaign dispelling myths about EVs, continuing to fund EV incentives for individuals and businesses. They should just continue the excellent work they’ve been doing so far. And they will most probably get the help of private companies, like Tesla and Volkswagen, since they are the main economic benefactors of this process.

The mood in the UK has swung positively towards climate-friendly policies. Both the government and the newly launched climate activist groups, like Extinction Rebellion, are keen to take action and bring the country to the bright future of e-mobility.

How can AMPECO help?

AMPECO has an established base of corporate clients in the United Kingdom who are already benefiting from the available grants. Our team will be happy to assist you and learn more about your EV charging needs. You can book a short EV charging consultation here.

If you are looking for an EV charging management platform and planning to install EV charging stations at your company premises or for your clients, you can learn more about our solutions for your business case:

Request a demo of AMPECO EV charging platform and see how our software can accelerate the growth of your EV charging business.

Alexander Petkov, Strategic Business Development at Ampeco | EV Charging & Mobility Solutions
About Alexander

Strategic Business Development Manager

I am helping customers and partners to efficiently start and scale up their charging stations and shared mobility business.

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