The UK electric vehicle market has been hot, but it could be much hotter, and the Labour Party wants to make it so. Party leadership want to increase access to electric vehicles, increase charging infrastructure, and speed up EV adoption.
Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband wants the UK to make the electric vehicle market more equitable and bigger by providing interest-free loans to buyers as well as a scrappage scheme in which people can turn in an older polluting vehicle and get credit for the purchase of a new electric vehicle.
The interest-free loans would be made available for people with low or middle incomes, if Miliband and the Labour Party get their way, and would be applicable for purchases of both new and used electric cars. Electric cars clearly have much lower operational costs, which can result in lower lifetime costs even if they have higher upfront costs than comparable gas-fueled vehicles (as they typically do), and no-interest loans would all of a sudden make those lower operational and lifetime costs accessible to the people who could benefit from them the most.
“By extending the option to buy an electric car to those on lower incomes and accelerating the rollout of charging points in regions that have been left out, we would ensure that everyone could benefit — rather than bake in unfairness,” Miliband says.
“And we would invest in securing the industry’s future. While it’s right that government has said the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will end, it’s wrong it is imposing a massive transition on our manufacturers from Whitehall then washing its hands of responsibility.
“To back the car industry and create jobs, Labour would bring forward ambitious proposals to spark an electric-vehicle revolution in every part of the country.”
Aside from these subsidy options and a greater investment in EV charging, Miliband would like the UK to be the home of 3 new battery gigafactories by 2025.
The flip side of this ambitious push to be greater electric vehicle leaders is that the UK just cut its grant for electric vehicles (Plug-in Car Grant/PiCG). The max grant is now £2,500 instead of £3,000. Additionally, premium-class electric vehicles are no longer eligible. The max price (before incentives) to be eligible is £35,000, down from £50,000. However, that does line up with Labour’s goal of making the electric vehicle incentives more focused on low and middle income households.
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