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SMMT slams EST grants system – ‘another mess’

The Energy Saving Trust has introduced a new grant management structure which it says will make it easier for customers to successfully apply for Powershift and CleanUp grants throughout the year.

It has set new grant levels per vehicle and a grant budget limit for each two-month period of the year, starting from June/ July, rather than allowing all the budget to be used up in the first half of the year.

Richard Tarboton, head of EST TransportEnergy says the new system will ensure that new, cleaner low-carbon vehicles and technologies coming to market later in the year will be able to benefit from the grants.

The news did not go down well with the SMMT, however, which believes the move will drive car buyers away from alternative-fuelled vehicles. That’s because one of the grant windows opens in August, which means the available funds may run out at the beginning of the September peak. Potential buyers will then not be able to apply for a grant until the start of October.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan says: “This latest bombshell from EST shows a lack of understanding of how the market works, on top of failing to learn lessons from previous mistakes. If the Government is serious about the drive to support greener technologies, it had better sort this mess out – and quickly.”

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