Government confirms Plug-In Car Grant criteria

16 September 2010 #SMMT News

Government today confirmed the eligibility criteria for its Plug-In Car Grant that, from January 2011, will offer motorists up to £5,000 towards the purchase of an electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuelled car.

In order to be eligible, cars must meet appropriate safety standards and must have been crash tested to internationally recognised standards.  They must also meet minimum range, warranty and performance criteria.

Government believes that this combined support will place the UK at the forefront of low carbon automotive development and provide a vital economic boost for the UK economy, giving UK automotive a key competitive advantage in this increasingly important global market.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond said:

"I am determined to make this government the greenest ever and transport will have a key role to play.  But this will not be achieved by forcing people off the road – it’s not the car that’s the problem, it’s the carbon.”

The Plug-In Car Grant eligibility criteria:
  • Vehicle Type: New cars only (‘M1’ category vehicles, this includes pre-registration conversions) ie excluding motorcycles, quadricycles and vans.
  • Carbon Dioxide tailpipe emissions: Less than 75g/km.
  • Range: EVs minimum 70 miles, PHEVs minimum electric range ten miles.
  • Minimum top speed: 60 mph.
  • Warranty: Three year or 60,000 miles vehicle warranty, plus a three year battery and electric drive train warranty with a consumer option for a two year battery warranty extension.
  • Battery performance: Either a minimum five year warranty on the battery and electric drivetrain as standard OR additional evidence of battery performance to illustrate reasonable performance after three years of use.
  • Electrical Safety: Vehicles must comply with UN-ECE Reg 100 (PHEVs will be required to show they have met the technical requirements of 01 series amendments to UN-ECE Reg 100); vehicle manufacturers will be required to identify risks associated with vehicle use and state mitigating actions.
  • Vehicle crash safety: European Commission whole vehicle type approval (EC WVTA, not small series) OR evidence that the car demonstrates appropriate levels of safety as judged by international standards.
Full details of these eligibility criteria will be published shortly at

The level of the Plug-In Car Grant has been agreed until 31 March 2012 and will be reviewed in January 2012. After taking into consideration a number of key factors such as the costs of vehicles and the development of the early market, the level will then be set for subsequent years. £43m has been made available up to the end of March 2012. The final budget beyond 2011/12 will be confirmed at the spending review.


To date £8.8m has been awarded to London, Milton Keynes and the North East through the Plugged-In Places Programme. Government plans to hold a second round of bidding in the autumn. The amount of funding available for the second round of Plugged-In Places will be determined as part of the spending review.

In line with the Coalition Agreement, commitment to mandate a national recharging network, guidance has also been released by government to the 15 places interested in bidding for the second round of the Plugged-In-Places infrastructure programme. This sets out in more detail what is required from these projects to support government’s decision-making on a national recharging network.

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