Paul Barker's blog: 30 June - The job is far from done
30 June 2015
It would be really easy to look at the 317% year-on-year increase in ultra-low emission vehicles over the first five months of 2015 and think that the grant has done its bit, and electric vehicles are now an established part of the marketplace.
After all, we've passed 12,000 of the things registered in the UK before we're even halfway through the year.
But it's still very much a fragile area of the market where people are wary of trusting the new technology too far until they have experienced it for themselves and understand what it is capable of.
The grant is important in financial terms, but just as important is the signal it sends out from Government in terms of a clear and consistent message that it sees ULEVs as the future, and wants to continue propelling them into the mainstream.
Any moves to reduce incentives need to be clearly signposted from a long way out, and the BVRLA's calls for the Government to use next week's Budget statement to reverse its potentially crippling decision to ramp-up benefit-in-kind on ULEVs is entirely correct, and something I wholeheartedly back - which I'm sure they'll be delighted about.
The entire BIK system is being designed to push driver's monthly payments skywards at an alarming rate, but that's especially true for the most efficient vehicles on offer, and rocketing BIK bills that are starting to head towards the region of an efficient diesel's monthly BIK could be a real deal-breaker come renewal time.
Establishing ULEVs in the marketplace for the long term is surely more important than the extra few quid that will be raked in over a short-term period. It would be the best thing to do for the industry, but I certainly won't be holding my breath when Mr Osborne stands up on 8 July.