Go Ultra Low cars line-upThe current Plug-In Car Grant (PICG), which offers 35% or up to £5,000 off the purchase price of an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) will close at the end of 2015.

Leasing trade body the BVLRA has, however, sought assurances from government that the current grant will continue to be honoured until the end of the year.

The Office of Low Emissions (OLEV) has told the BVRLA that any deal for a qualifying green car (emitting less than 75g/km CO2) will be honoured right up to the date the PICG ends (this date is still to be announced).

This includes cars on order but yet to be delivered: the grant will be honoured for deliveries up to nine months after the current PICG ends.

The assurance to the BVLRA comes after some leasing companies had removed the £5,000 PICG from their quotation calculators, due to uncertainty. This was causing lease prices to rise considerably.

“We are delighted that OLEV was able to provide this speedy and common-sense response,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.

“Registrations of ultra-low emission vehicles have taken off in recent months and the rental and leasing industry has been leading this charge.”

How have ULEV sales risen in 2015?

Ultra-low emission vehicle registrations reached 11,842 up to May 2015 – that’s a four-fold increase on 2014, says the SMMT.

Last year, just 2,838 ULEVs were registered in the same five-month period.

A growing range of qualifying cars – all of which can claim up to £5,000 off their list price, thanks to the PICG – is behind the growth, says the SMMT: last year’s choice of six cars has grown to 20 this year.

Choices include the best-selling Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron currently being run by Motoring Research as a long-term test car.

“The remarkable growth un demand for plug-in vehicles is expected to continue as the range of ultra-low emission vehicles on sale increases,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

Will the £5,000 Plug-In Car Grant be replaced?

A new form of the Plug-In Car Grant has been confirmed, with specific details and cash rebates still to be announced.

It will be based around three separate categories of ultra-low emission car:

  • Category 1: CO2 below 50g/km, zero emission range of at least 70 miles
  • Category 2: CO2 below 50g/km, zero emission range between 10-69 miles
  • Category 3: CO2 emissions 50-75g/km, zero emission range of at least 20 miles

The government has confirmed £200 million has been allocated to the new ultra-low emission vehicles grant scheme, which will run from 2015-2020.

The original PICG was introduced in 2011.