Electric vehicles: good for the planet – and your pocket?

Family enjoying their new electric vehicle

We look at the government grants for going green with an EV

Lots of us are thinking about switching from petrol or diesel to an electric vehicle (EV). But how much will an EV cost to buy and to run? Will it work out much more expensive – or will the lower running costs of an EV mean you actually end up saving money?

When working all that out, one big thing to think about is the value of the government grants on offer. These are pretty generous, because the UK government wants more and more of us to go electric – and the sooner the better.

EV grants and incentives, at a glance:

  • Up to £2,500 towards buying an EV
  • Up to £350 towards installing a home charging point
  • As much as £350 more for home chargers in Scotland
  • Special EV electricity tariffs to keep running costs low
There are government grants to help you buy a new electric vehicle

Government grants for buying an EV

They’re becoming more affordable all the time, but EVs are still a bit more expensive to buy than petrol or diesel cars.

To help, the UK government is giving a grant of up to £2,500 when you buy an EV. It doesn’t apply to all EVs though – only those that cost under £35,000.

You can get more info on the scheme on the government website – or just talk to your EV salesperson. They should be able to give you all the details you need.

There are government grants to help with the cost of installing a charge point at home

Government grants for electric car charging points

Having your own charging point is a game changer for EV drivers. It makes it very simple to keep your EV charged overnight – and also helps you use greener, cheaper energy.

The UK government offers a range of grants to help people and organisations get this useful bit of kit.

The important thing to know is that, for homeowners, the EHVS grant from the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) is worth up to £350.

And it’s very simple to claim. Most installers will do all the paperwork for you – and then automatically include the grant in a lower overall price.

And there’s more (but only if you’re in Scotland)

The Energy Saving Trust offers an extra £250 towards installing an EV charger for anyone living in Scotland. This goes up to £350 for people in the most remote parts of the country. You can find out more on their website.

Some useful terms to understand

Government grants for EV charging points can get a bit confusing, mainly because of all the different acronyms flying around. Hopefully this little explainer helps!

  • OZEV is the government department that pays out the grants – the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles
  • OLEV is what that department used to be called – the Office for Low Emission Vehicles
  • EVHS is the name of the OZEV grant for getting a charging point at home – the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme
  • WCS is the OZEV voucher scheme for businesses and organisations installing charging points – the Workplace Charging Scheme
Running an EV is even more affordable with special tariffs

Special tariffs for charging your EV

If you’ve spent years filling up with petrol or diesel, the running costs of an EV will come as a nice surprise.

We’ve worked out that EV drivers can expect to pay £4 per 100 miles, compared to £14 per 100 miles for the same-sized petrol or diesel car. You can read more about it in this British Gas article looking into the numbers.

On top of that, British Gas has a special tariff for EV drivers that helps you make the most of cheaper off-peak electricity between midnight and 5am. Get the latest information on the EV tariff here.

So that’s the current state of play with incentives for EV drivers. Are they enough to persuade you to make the switch? We certainly think they’ll help increase the numbers of EVs on the roads in the years to come – and that’s got to be great news for the planet.

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