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Labour issues call for interest-free loans to support EV car sales

Labour’s shadow business minister Ed Miliband has called for interest free loans to help low and middle-income families purchase a new electric vehicle (EV).

The Minister has also suggested that a new national scrappage scheme should be introduced as part of efforts to deliver on the UK’s ambitious Road to Zero plan to reduce CO2 emissions, claiming that Government was currently “asleep at the wheel” in its facilitation of the shift to EVs.

Parliament’s opposition party is taking the opportunity to highlight the importance of support for EV sales just a week after the Conservative Government cut the plug-in car grant (PiCG) from £3,000 to £2,500 – the second cut to the incentive in a year – while lowering the cap for eligible vehicles from £50,000 to £35,000.

In a report published by City AM this morning (March 25), former Labour leader Miliband said: “To back the car industry and create jobs, Labour would bring forward ambitious proposals to spark an electric vehicle revolution in every part of the country.

“By extending the option to buy an electric car to those on lower incomes and accelerating the roll-out of charging points in regions that have been left out, we would ensure that everyone could benefit – rather than bake in unfairness.

“And we would invest in securing the industry’s future. While it’s right that government has said the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will end, it’s wrong it is imposing a massive transition on our manufacturers from Whitehall then washing its hands of responsibility.

“It’s not fair, it will damage our manufacturers, and it will mean losing out on the chance to be the world-leader in the electric vehicle market.

“Labour would back our manufacturers and the communities with proud histories in the industry, but the Government is asleep at the wheel.”

AM reported yesterday that changes to the PiCG announced last week had caused consumers to question Government's commitment to its emissions-cutting Road to Zero strategy. 

A survey conducetd by What Car? found that 62% believe recent changes to the plug-in car grant show Government is not committed to a green future.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is today hosting its SMMT Electrified 2021 conference online.

Speaking at the event, Polestar chief executive, Jonathan Goodman said that Government policy towards EV incentives need to be “consistent and sustained”, branding Government’s recent PiCG changes “a mistake”.

He said: “Consumers are coming to us and asking a lot of questions about why the grant was there for them one minute and now it’s not.

“We need consistent and ongoing support to drive the adoption of EVs. Customers need to know where they stand.

“There is consistency and certainty in the company car market with the BIK rates. That’s a policy that people have clear visibility of for the next two years.”

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