Electric vehicle (EV) policies in the UK

The government of the UK offers a verycomprehensive strategy for electrification both in terms of an...

This article is aimed at presenting EV, EV charging policies and incentives in the UK.

The government of  UK offers a very comprehensive strategy for electrification both in terms of an electrification strategy known as the “Road to Zero strategy” and an official “Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).”

A. EV Incentives

I) Tax Benefits

There are two types of tax benefits: ownership tax and the other is company car tax.

1) Ownership Tax: EVs which cost less than £40,000 get the exemption of annual road tax.

2) Company CarTax: It is for the businesses dealing in electric vehicles as these companies can write down 100% of the purchase price against corporate tax liability in case the emission of the vehicle is up to 50 grams/ kilometer

Till 2020 it was entirely exempt from company car tax; in 2021, the tax will be 1%, and in 2022 it will be 2%. In case the EV emits less than 50 grams/ kilometer of company car tax was 16% in 2020,4 to 8% less than the diesel company vehicle tax. For more detail.

II) Subsidies

EV charger grants for workplace

1) The Plug-in Car Grant, which is a purchase grant, offers the buyers the following incentives:

2) The buyers can receive up to 20% of the cost of an electric  taxi (with up to the maximum limit of £7,500)

3) The buyers can receive up to 20% of the cost of a large electric truck or van or truck (with up to a maximum limit of £20,000 except for the first 200 orders; after that maximum limit will be £8,000)

4) The buyers can receive up to 20% of the cost of an electric  truck or van (with up to a maximum limit of £8,000)

5) The buyers can receive up to 20% of the cost of an electric  motorcycle (with up to a maximum limit of £1,500)

6) The buyers can receive up to 35% of the cost of an electric car (with up to a maximum limit of £3,000 based on the model of the car)

7) Asit is a purchase grant so it is administered by OZEV, and this grant will be part of the price of the vehicle included by the dealer. Read more.

III) Local Benefits (Country-wise)

1) Northern Ireland

For the privately purchased EVs, a grant of a maximum of €5,000 is available, and for commercially purchased EVs, a maximum grant of€3,800 is available. For more detail.

2) Scotland

An interest-free loan is offered by theGovernment of Scotland to assist the drivers shifting to hybrid or EV. The government offers loans up to £35,000 For more detail.

3) London

Until 2025, the plug-in hybrids and EVs are exempt from “London’s Congestion Charge” For more detail.

B.  EV Charging Incentives

The network of charging points has increased significantly in the UK as in 2020, and these were around 30,000doubled compared to 2019. Out of the total £290 million budget Road to Zero strategy,£80 million is separated for improvement of infrastructure of EV charging which involves following policies.

I) TaxBenefits

The companies installing the charging infrastructure can get the tax benefits in the form of a 100% first-year allowance for the expenditure of EV charging equipment. For more detail.


vThe individual buyers of EVs can get a grant for up to 75% of the total installation and purchase cost under the Electric Vehicle home charge scheme. Leased cars and company cars are also eligible for this grant.

vAnd Another subsidy scheme is for the workplace electric vehicle charging points known as WorkplaceCharge Point Grant, which is a voucher-based scheme offering upfront cost of the buying and installation of electric vehicle charging points. Under this scheme, funds are eligible to cover up to 75% of installation and purchase costs, with a maximum of £350 for an individual socket.

v There are some local authorities offering the Street Residential ChargePoint Scheme who found the installation cost all on-street charging points.

C. Transition Plan

The government of the UK has announced the phase-out date of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. The government is also intended to have all new vans and cars, which are zero-emission tailpipes, by the end of2035, and a budget of £2.8 billion has been announced for the cause. The government, along with the private sector, will bring this transition. In this regard, the transition of fleet operators to zero-emission will play a vital role as it represents more than 60% of sales of cars and vans.

By the end of 2022, 25% government car fleet will transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.

By the end of 2027, 100% of the car and van fleet will transition to fully zero-emission at the tailpipe. For more details.

D. Charging Infrastructure

There are 22,790 public EV charging devices in the UK according to April 2021, out of which 4,259 are rapid chargers. The number of charge points has increased by four times in the past five years.

Total Public Charge points

(Source: GOV. UK, 2021)

The government of the UK has allocated a fund of £950million infrastructure delivery program for rapid charging points at motorways and A Roads in England.

£20 million is allocated for the On-street Residential Charge point Scheme for 2021-22. Local EV Infrastructure Fund of £90 million will be for On-street Residential Charge point Scheme for England by local authorities.

The UK is generating 50% of its power using low carbon technologies.

PubliclyAvailable Electric Vehicle Charging Devices (All Speeds)

England has 19261 charging devices which is34.2 per 100,000 population.

London has 7,180 charging devices which is80.1 per 100,000 population.

Wales has 851 charging devices which is27.0 per 100,000 population.

Scotland has 2,351 charging devices which is43.0 per 100,000 population.

Northern Ireland has 327 charging devices which is 17.3 per 100,000 population.

PubliclyAvailable Electric Vehicle Charging Rapid Devices

England has 3,523 charging devices which is6.3 per 100,000 population.

London has 579 charging devices which is 6.5per 100,000 population.

Wales has 114 charging devices which is 3.6per 100,000 population.

Scotland has 602 charging devices which is11.0 per 100,000 population.

Northern Ireland has 20 charging devices which is 1.1 per 100,000 population.

(Source: GOV.UK, 2021)