The fleet industry has put on a united front to call upon the next Government to pledge their continued support for the Plug-in Car and Van Grants, as the General Election looms later this week.
In a joint letter sent to the main party leaders by the BVRLA and co-signed by a number of fleet’s largest players, the consortium said the industry’s message is clear that if the next Government is “serious about meeting its zero-emission road transport ambitions, it is vital that they provide future certainty around the status and lifespan of the vital Plug-In Car and Van Grants.”
Despite promises from all the main political parties to increase support for electric vehicles, none of their manifestos have explicitly pledged to continue the grant beyond 2020, the BVRLA has noted, as it said business fleets are buying over 50% of all new vehicles sold each year, including the majority of electric vehicles.
It said that with the right support from Government this figure will increase, but warned that any change in the grant “must be gradual and clearly signposted, giving customers time to act.”
BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney, said: “Waiting times for some of the most popular battery electric vehicles are already at nine or twelve months, and fleets need to know that the grant will still apply when the vehicle is delivered. Fleets are in a unique position to accelerate the shift to more sustainable road transport, but we need the right incentives in place and the Plug-In Grant is crucial.”
One of the co-signatories of the letter, AA president, Edmund King OBE added: “The next government must take the lead on averting the climate crisis and giving fleets tangible and long-term incentives to switch to EVs are essential catalysts for change. The cleaner company or fleet car of today soon becomes the greener used car of tomorrow.”
Representatives from companies and associations including ACFO, Chargepoint, Europcar, KeeResources, Leaseplan, Northgate, Pendragon and the Royal Mail signed the letter, which was sent to Boris Johnson, Leader of the Conservative Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, Ian Blackford, Leader of the SNP at Westminster, Siân Berry, co-Leader of the Green Party, Jonathan Bartley, co-Leader of the Green Party, Jo Swinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Elizabeth Saville Roberts, Leader of Plaid Cymru at Westminster.