the end of the ecological bonus in the United Kingdom is nonsense

Introduced in 2011, the ecological bonus for electric cars is now abolished in the United Kingdom. And the decision is difficult to pass.

electric car charging aa
Source: Michael Fousert on Unsplash

It was in 2011 that the ecological bonus was born in the United Kingdom. A little boost (recently lowered to 1,500 pounds from 5,000 pounds in 2011), which has enabled the purchase of more than half a million electric vehicles in the territory since its inception. Aid which was then precisely intended to encourage motorists to opt for a connected car, but also to accompany the end of thermal cars.

And for good reason, England is even more severe than the European Union on this point, since it provides forban the sale of internal combustion cars on its territory by 2030. A radical measure, but which will also be accompanied by a massive development of charging infrastructure, with no less than 300,000 terminals which should be in service at the start of the next decade.

The end of help

If the United Kingdom therefore wishes to do everything to encourage motorists to buy electric cars, the government has just announced the end of the ecological bonus. A decision obviously far from unanimous, while our colleagues from The gallery quote the association for the defense of road users, the RAC, which underlines that ” to make (electric cars) accessible to everyone, we need prices to come down “. Mike Hawes, managing director of SMMT, which represents car manufacturers in the UK, points out that ” we are now the only major European market not to have no initial purchase incentive for electric cars« .

But if the government is cutting its aid for private electric cars, it is to focus on other categories. An envelope of 300 million pounds will indeed be allocated to aids for taxis, motorcycles, vans and other wheelchair accessible vehicles. For his part, the executive ensures that the bonus, initially set at £5,000, had already been reduced over time, which had not really had an impact on the drop in sales of electric cars.

But why stop this bonus?

An argument that is hard to understand, since electric cars are more expensive than their thermal counterparts. The bonus therefore necessarily has a positive impact on sales, by allowing more households to be able to purchase an electric car. We therefore do not understand the decision of the United Kingdom, unlike the rest of the neighboring countries, and all the more so since the sales of electric cars represented only 11.6% of new cars in the year 2021.

And for France?

With us too, the ecological bonus has undergone many changes over the years, even temporarily increasing to €7,000 following the first confinement. Today, this is capped at €6,000, or 27% of the vehicle price, for cars under €45,000. It is €2,000 for vehicles whose price is between €45 and €60,000, then is completely eliminated for those costing more. Plug-in hybrids benefit from aid of €1,000.

If the amount of the ecological bonus should have been revised downwards from July 1stthe Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire had announced his wish to postpone this date to January 1, 2023. For its part, the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Energy Transition, that we contacted tells us that ” given the current reserve period, the Government cannot make any announcements in this regard“. He points out that an amending finance bill will be presented on 29th June next. We will know more then.

The ecological bonus should be less generous on July 1, 2022. However, the government had proposed to delay this change during the presidential elections. In the meantime, Emmanuel Macron has been re-elected and Bruno Le Maire has…
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