UK will check whether PHEVs are attractive without the Plug-In Car Grant

UK is Europe's biggest market for plug-in hybrid cars, but after the cut of the £2,500 Plug-In Car Grant for PHEVs (and decreasing for BEVs from £4,500 to £3,500), sales are expected to decrease.

According to JATO Dynamics global analyst Felipe Munoz, in the worst case scenario, UK will go down the path delineated set by the Netherlands, which through generous incentives for PHEVs was in 2015 the PHEV kingdom. Then incentives were withdrawn and PHEVs are not big deal there anymore.

Felipe Munoz said that “The only advantage PHEVs have is their incentive,” - there are still lower taxes for company cars, or fuel savings, but according to the article, now PHEVs will not be competitive on the market.

Plug-in hybrids account for 3/4 of plug-in car sales in the UK, so any significant decrease will have a deep impact on the overall result.

PHEVs were earlier this year already hit by WLTP emission results, which are worse than under NEDC and prevented many PHEVs from some incentives anyway (manufacturers decided to take them off the market).

"The grant loss came at a time when plug-in hybrid sales were already on the verge of being poleaxed by the switch to the new WLTP emissions testing regime. This came into force in September and was much tougher on plug-in hybrids, meaning cars recorded worse emissions figures and therefore attracted fewer incentives. The response from some manufacturers was simply to remove the car from sale – the VW Passat GTE has only just returned but the Golf GTE isn’t expected back until July 2019. Also dropped were the BMW 330e and several Mercedes."

Well, we are not policymakers, but as emission requirements are tightening and technology improving, we believe that electrification is inevitable. There must be some room to upgrade the cars and make them £2,500 ($3,200) more affordable or more valuable at the same price in the near future anyways.

Source: Autocar