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[NEWS] Which electric cars no longer qualify for a grant in the UK?

Which electric cars no longer qualify for a grant in the UK?

10 bmw i3s rt 2018 2586

Government has lowered cut-off to £35,000, meaning you now have to pay full price for these EVs

The big news yesterday was the government's shock announcement that it has cut its EV grant from £3000 to £2500 and that only sub-£35,000 cars are now eligible. 

Previously, the threshold was at £50,000, so new and upcoming entries such as the Volkswagen ID 4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E would have been eligible, but it's now only the more affordable EV entries that can take advantage.

Here are the models that previously qualified for a sizeable discount - but which are now effectively £3000 more expensive at point of purchase as a result of the change.

BMW i3

Just two weeks ago, BMW hiked up prices for its eight-year-old electric hatchback, raising the entry cost to £39,690 before application of the grant. Now even this most affordable option falls outside the new threshold, raising questions over its longevity on the UK market. 

DS 3 Crossback E-Tense

Stellantis's plush electric crossover still qualifies for the grant – just – but only in its Prestige (£34,000) and Performance Line (£34,400) guises. The Performance Line+ and limited-run Inès de la Fressange models command a premium and are thus ineligible. 

Hyundai Kona Electric

The government highlighted the Kona as one of the accessible EVs that remain eligible for a subsidy but neglected to mention that the more usable 64kWh variant - with its 300 miles of range - is now out of grasp for grant-hunters. The 179-mile 39kWh variant remains eligible.

Kia e-Niro

It's a similar story for the Kona's Kia sibling, which can now only be bought at the discounted price in entry-level 2 trim, with the 39kWh battery pack and a lesser-powered 134bhp electric motor. 

Kia Soul EV 

Kia's more style-focused electric crossover, the Soul EV, is currently only available in the UK in highly specified First Edition form, which packs a hefty kit list and the e-Niro's 64kWh battery, and costs £37,545. It remains to be seen if cheaper and shorter-range variants will bring the price down below £35,000. 

Nissan Leaf e+

The Leaf was one of the first properly mass-market electric cars, and is now well into its second generation. However, under the new government rules, only the standard range 49kWh model will qualify for an EV grant. The longer-range e+ version, which has a larger 62kWh battery, no longer qualifies.

Polestar 2

A model that was priced right on the borderline of the old plug-in car grant, the £49,990 Polestar 2 now loses out on any government incentive.

The luxury electric hatchback is essentially sold as a single trim level, with the £5000 Performance pack adding uprated suspension, brakes and alloy wheels but retaining the same dual-motor powertrain and 78kWh battery. That meant customers happy to stick to the standard specification were getting a lot of car for their money.

Tesla Model 3

Some might argue that Tesla’s most affordable model was the car the government had in mind when choosing the new cut-off point for its EV grant. The Model 3 was one of the UK’s best-selling new cars in 2020, regularly topping monthly sales charts over established ICE models such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf.

Under the new rules, however, neither the entry-level Standard Range Plus nor dual-motor Long Range versions qualify. The top-end Performance was already exempt under the previous system, as it retails for more than £50,000.

Tesla is currently offering to take the £2500 plug-in car grant value off the list price of a Standard Range Plus or Long Range for customers buying from existing inventory. The offer is valid until the end of March.


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