Northgate Vehicle Hire responds to the government’s decision to reduce plug-in-grants


Northgate Vehicle Hire has responded to the Government’s decision to cut the Plug-in-Car and Van-Grant funding as ‘disappointing’.

Northgate believes the Plug-in-Van-Grant funding in particular could have been retained at its current level, as EV adoption for van operators remains behind that of car fleets.

It thinks the grant reduction for 2.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW) vans or less and vans between 2-3.5 tonnes GVW to 35% of their purchase price up to a maximum of £3,000 and £5,000 respectively won’t be a ‘deal breaker’.

However, Northgate believes anything that obstructs companies considering moving some or all of their fleet to electric, could keep the van sector behind the EV adoption curve for longer.

“We are increasingly spending more time working with companies to evaluate how EVs fit into their current fleet mix. There is a growing interest from companies in reducing their fleet emissions and working towards Net Zero, particularly on vans which work primarily in an urban environment,” explained Neil McCrossan, Northgate Vehicle Hire’s Sales and Marketing Director.

“With this momentum building it’s disappointing the grants have been reduced,” he added.

Northgate reinforced the process of identifying whether companies can operate electric van alternatives is quite involved and therefore takes time. It works with companies to build a picture of daily vehicle mileages and payloads, average journey length and speed and charging availability during a typical working day.

Northgate offers companies a variety of vehicles capable of a range of more than 200 miles. Its EV suitability checker generally recommends vans covering more than 150 miles a day may not yet be suitable for electric use.

“By putting fleets through our EV suitability review it clearly shows companies where they can start onboarding zero emissions LCVs and where Euro 6 diesels are still the answer,” said McCrossan.