Plug-In Van Grant launch

Information about the Plug-In Van Grant and people's reactions to the launch at County Hall, London.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP

The Plug-In Van Grant was launched on 21 February 2012 at an event at County Hall, London. The grant provides purchasers with up to £8,000 off the cost of an eligible van. This short film provides information about the grant, and shows people’s reactions to the event.

Plug-In Van Grant


Voiceover: The government is committed to the development of ultra-low emission vehicles and, to encourage businesses to invest in plug-in vans, the Secretary of State launched the new Plug-In Van Grant, at an event held at County Hall in London.

Justine Greening: Well, we’re announcing the plugged-in vans grant. That’s saying that you can get up to 20% or up to £8,000 of grant towards buying a electric van or a hybrid van, and that should really help start to drive that switch from polluting diesel vans to more cleaner, greener hybrid and electric vans.

It’s really important because we know that one of the key drivers of emissions in the UK, of course, is road transport, and particularly cars and vans, so if we can start to get that switch on to more ultra-low emission vehicles then that’s really going to help us meet our targets.

Pete Waterman: The cost of diesel now is huge. So if you’re going to save money - and, you know, being… you know, all this ‘worried about the pound in my pocket’, particularly as you get older; as you know, money becomes, you know, important to you - I think that, you know, is a viable option.

Justine Greening: Of course, for businesses it can make business sense too, because anybody who has filled up their van or their car with petrol or diesel recently knows just how expensive it is, so actually we’re going to not just help the environment - this is about helping business too.

Paul Everitt: Ultra-low carbon vehicles are very much the future of the industry. We expect to see a transition to this type of technology over the coming years, and it’s very important not just to meet our environmental challenges and targets, but also our industrial ambitions.

Dan Taylor: We’ve got a really big fleet - we’ve got the third largest fleet in the UK with around 12,000 vans - so for us it’s really important that we look at all the options to make our fleet as green as possible and obviously as cost-efficient as possible. And with today’s announcement around the grant, absolutely, it’s beginning to stack up in terms of the numbers.

We’ve got a mission over the next 10 years to reduce our carbon footprint, and transport’s going to be a massive part of that, so we’ve really got to decarbonise our transport. That’s going to add up financially and economically, but also from the environmental perspective, we don’t have a lot of choice to make this work. So we’re proud to be leading the way, and as I say, we’ve got 150 vehicles to be on the road by the end of next year.

Justine Greening: What it shows is that business is starting to look seriously about how it can green its fleet. We know that’s incredibly important; it’s one of the reasons why the Plugged-in Places investment has really focused on the workplace - that’s where people have their car and it can charge up whilst they’re there. So business is really, really important, whether you’re working at business or whether you’re running a fleet, and that’s one of the reasons why we’re delighted that British Gas is, in a sense, leading the way.

Richard Deslandes: Each individual electric vehicle has its place, whether it’s a 3.5 tonner or whether it’s the inner city runaround like our own. I think they all have their place and we’re all going to benefit from this… these initiatives.

Paul Everitt: We’ve got a number of products here that are produced in the UK; a number of the others also have technology that is being developed and manufactured here in the UK. So if we want to compete globally on the types of vehicles that we are going to be producing in the future, it’s essential that we create a supply chain for those technologies here in the UK. And so the grant is part of that strategy. It persuades people that the UK’s a good place to develop this technology, to demonstrate it, but in the long term hopefully manufacture it, and export it to other places around the world.

Richard Deslandes: I think that the electric van incentive is actually an essential part of developing electric strategy in a city, public utility companies, and so on and so forth, need this kind of boost.

Paul Everitt: For us this is a very important step. We hope to see a significant take-up of the grant over the course of the next well, not just this year but over the course of the next three to five years. And as we get that, and we build volume in the marketplace, then we will see the technology both improve but also reduce in cost.

Dan Taylor: I think, the grant that’s announced today, together with some of the additional benefits, things like the congestion charging, et cetera, in London, really begin to help make the case stack up. So we’re fully behind it.

Richard Deslandes: What is interesting is that continental Europe looks with certainly slightly green eyes at the UK, where there is, I think, a serious level of joined-up thinking; whether it comes from OLEV, or whether it comes from the EV Group at the SMMT, whether it comes from plugged-in places, whether it comes from the Mayor’s initiatives, I think there’s some serious joined-up thinking in the UK which the rest of the Europe would do very well to emulate.

Published 29 March 2012