UK: Government grant for electric cars now available for vans

Van drivers who want to go green are finding out which vehicles they should buy. The Government grant for people who buy electric cars is being made available for electric vans, which means buyers can get 20% off the cost price of a new vehicle, up to a maximum of £8,000.

The government has published a list of vans eligible for its new Plug-in Van Grant. Van buyers will be able to receive 20 per cent – up to £8,000 – off the cost of this first wave of 7 plug-in vans.

Transport secretary Justine Greening said: “The new Plug-in Van Grant – offering up to £8,000 off one of these seven innovative vans – also makes business sense as it’s been estimated that a small electric van will typically cost £100 less in fuel for every thousand miles driven compared to a diesel equivalent.”

The first seven vans to be made eligible for the grants are:

* Daimler Mercedes-Benz – Vito E-Cell

* Azure Dynamics – Transit Connect Electric

* Faam – ECOMILE

* Faam – JOLLY 2000

* Mia-electric – Mia U

* Renault – Kangoo ZE variants Kangoo VAN ZE, Kangoo Van Maxi ZE, and Kangoo Van Maxi Crew ZE

* Smith Electric – Smith Edison variants SE2 and SE3

Gearoid Lane, managing director of British Gas New Markets, which plans to add hundreds of electric vans to its fleet over the next few years, said: “With our network of engineers repairing boilers around the country we are keen to include electric vans in our own fleet, with 100s scheduled to be introduced over the next few years.”

Geoff Allison, managing director of Smith Electric Vehicles Europe, said: “This grant will help our fleet customers to achieve a faster return on investment, making the economic case for electric vans as compelling as the environmental case.”

The BBC’s Transport Correspondent Richard Westcott spoke to Transport Secretary Justine Greening, who says the scheme is good for business and the environment.