The government is closing the plug-in car grant scheme to new orders after supporting the sale of nearly half a million electric cars.

£300 million in grant funding will now be refocused towards extending plug-in grants to boost sales of plug-in taxis, motorcycles, vans and trucks and wheelchair-accessible vehicles

The scheme has succeeded in helping to increase the sales of fully electric cars from less than 1,000 in 2011 to almost 100,000 in the first five months of 2022 alone.

Battery and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) now make up more than half of all new cars sold and fully electric car sales have risen by 70% in the last year, now representing one in six new cars joining UK roads.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said:

"The government continues to invest record amounts in the transition to EVs, with £2.5 billion injected since 2020, and has set the most ambitious phase-out dates for new diesel and petrol sales of any major country.

"But government funding must always be invested where it has the highest impact if that success story is to continue.

"Having successfully kickstarted the electric car market, we now want to use plug-in grants to match that success across other vehicle types, from taxis to delivery vans and everything in between, to help make the switch to zero emission travel cheaper and easier.

"With billions of both government and industry investment continuing to be pumped into the UK’s electric revolution, the sale of electric vehicles is soaring."

Since 2020, the government has committed £2.5 billion to plug-in vehicle grants, infrastructure and the wider transition to electric vehicles in the UK.  

The industry is further boosting the switch to greener vehicles by expanding its range of more affordable zero-emission cars.

A total of 24 models are currently priced under £32,000, compared to just 15 a year ago, and the cost of monthly purchase and rental schemes has fallen significantly.