Government Grants for Plug-in Electric Vans

  • Plug-in Van Grant kept in place despite scrapping of car equivalent
  • Max savings now £2,500 for small vans, £5,000 for large vans; heavier models still subsidised up to £16,000
  • Specific criteria remains in place and we have the full list compatible vans on this page

The UK government has announced that the discount available on most electric vans through the Plug-in Van Grant (PIVG) incentive scheme has been extended by two years as of March 2022. It has also confirmed that recent reductions to the grant remain unchanged in a move to encourage more users to adopt electric commercial vehicles in the lead-up to the end of sales of all diesel and petrol-powered vans in 2030. 

This means that, despite the recent and immediate scrapping of the Plug-in Car Grant, van buyers are still able to get some assistance when it comes to making the step to electric.

So, the maximum saving for 3.5-tonne electric vans remains at £5,000, while the maximum reduction for smaller vans up to 2.5-tonnes is £2,500. In addition, a limit of 1,000 grant applications per customer was introduced at the end of 2021.

These amounts were reduced in 2021 and are down from the previous £6,000 figure, at which point smaller vans were eligible for a £3,000 discount. Previously all electrified vans up to 3.5 tonnes could save as much as £8,000 though the PIVG programme.

Electric Plug-in Van Grant 2021 - Ford Transit Custom PHEV no longer qualifies

However, heavier electric vans such as those with 4.25-tonne ratings and ‘N2’ categorisation continue to qualify for the ‘small truck’ grant, which offers an incentive of up to £16,000 (capped at 20% of the purchase price).

The tougher eligibility criteria introduced in March 2021 remains in place – ruling out the electric van subsidy for the Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid.

There’s a full list of eligible vans further down this page.

Why has the government extended the Plug-in Van Grant?

According to the Department for Transport (DfT), the government’s reasoning for extending the Plug-in Van Grant is to accelerate the growth in use of electric vans in the UK. It’s also an insurance against negative affects of recent oil price volatility.

The move is expected to result in a greater take-up of of greener vans, and will help make the UK less reliant on imports of foreign oil, and reducing our vulnerability to fluctuations in global energy prices.

Sales of electric vans are on the rise. In 2021, the UK had the highest number of plug-in electric vans sold in Europe and there were around four times as many Plug-in Van Grant applications compared with 2020.

Transport minister Trudy Harrison confirmed: ‘this extension to our grant scheme will allow tens of thousands more vans to be purchased, transporting goods in a way which is kinder to our environment. This will support our vital, ongoing work to clean up our air in towns and cities.’

Meanwhile, the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) has been scrapped.

What is the electric Plug-in Van Grant?

The PIVG is a government-funded discount for vans that can drive with zero emissions – which is to say using an electric motor instead of a conventional diesel or petrol engine. To qualify for the plug-in grant the electrified van must now meet the following standards:

  • > 60 miles or more of zero emissions driving range
  • > Less than 50g/km CO2 emissions (50gCO/km, as the DfT has it)

This is a change from the previous requirements, which were set at 75g/km CO2 and allowed hybrid vans to have a 10-mile zero-emissions range; pure electric vans were already required to have a 60-mile range to qualify for the subsidy.

How much is the electric van grant worth?

The PIVG is now split into two main grant rates for vans, divided by gross vehicle weight (GVW).

As of 15 December 2021, these are discount amounts:

  • > Vans less than 2.5 tonnes: 35% of purchase price up to £2,500
  • > Vans 2.5-3.5 tonnes: 35% of the purchase price up to £5,000

Another new change is that the number of grants per tax year is now capped at 1,000 per customer. This will impact large fleets, such as Amazon and DPD.

The DfT says the average Plug-in Van Grant pay-out in 2020 was ‘just under £7,000’, so the changes are going to have a real impact for many buyers, especially buyers of smaller vans.

What about electric vans at 3.5-4.25 tonnes?

Heavier electric vans are a growing and potentially important part of the large electric van market, as a special derogation for alternative fuels means those up to 4.25t can be driven on a regular UK car licence in certain circumstances (the limit is 3.5t for diesel vans). The government has confirmed that this concession will remain in place.

Electric Plug-in Van Grant December 2021 - zero emissions driving of 60 miles required, Nissan e-NV200

These heavyweight electric vans, which have a N2 classification rather than the lower N1 rating, qualify for the ‘small truck’ grant. This plug-in incentive applies to all commercial vehicles 3.5-12.0 tonnes, and is worth up to £16,000 (previously £20,000), capped at 20% of the purchase price.

So buyers of these bigger vans could still be quids in, though the subsidy for this category is limited to 250 grants per financial year, with only 10 available per customer. After these are gone you can apply for the grant at the £5,000 rate.

What vans are eligible for the Plug-in Van Grant?

The government publishes a list of grant qualifying vans, but we’ve already spotted an error in the latest one (15 December 2021), so don’t imagine it covers everything that qualifies. Instead, be reassured that every 100% electric van sold in the UK meets the latest criteria for the PIVG.

Small electric vans (up to 2.5t) that qualify for the Plug-in Van Grant:

> Citroen e-Berlingo

> Maxus e Deliver 3 (short-wheelbase only)

> Nissan e-NV200, including Voltia XL conversions (this is soon to be discontinued)

> Peugeot e-Partner

> Renault Kangoo E-Tech (previously known as the Kangoo ZE)

> Renault Zoe Van

> Toyota Proace City Electric

> Vauxhall Combo-e

Large electric vans (2.5-3.5t) that qualify for the Plug-in Van Grant:

> Citroen e-Relay

> Citroen e-Dispatch

> DFSK EC35 (categorised as a large van due to its 2,600kg GVW)

> Fiat E-Ducato

> Fiat E-Scudo

> Ford E-Transit

> LEVC VN5

> Maxus e Deliver 3 (long-wheelbase version)

> Maxus e Deliver 9

> Mercedes-Benz eVito

> Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

> Peugeot e-Expert

> Peugeot e-Boxer

> Renault Master E-Tech (previously known as the Master ZE)

> Toyota Proace Electric

> Vauxhall Vivaro-e

> Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter

There are also some BD Autos electric van conversions that quality for the grant as well.

Electric vans that qualify for the small truck plug-in grant:

> Fiat E-Ducato (N2)

> Maxus e Deliver 9 (N2)

Do hybrid vans qualify for the Plug-in Van Grant?

There are currently only two proper hybrid commercial vehicles on sale in the UK: the Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid and LEVC VN5 panel vans.

The previously available Mitsubishi Outlander Commercial, which is a commercial 4×4, is no longer on sale.

Electric Plug-in Van Grant 2021 - LEVC VN5 is the only hybrid van that now qualifies for the PIVG

All three of these are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), combining an electric motor with a petrol engine.

However only the LEVC VN5 (pictured above) has enough electric-only zero emissions capability (61 miles) to meet the latest PIVG requirements. The Transit Custom PHEV and the Outlander Commercial PHEV can only manage 30.5 miles and 28 miles of zero emissions, respectively.

The Toyota Corolla Commercial Hybrid van is not a plug-in hybrid, and will also not qualify for the PIVG.

>> Best hybrid vans

Can you still get a discount on an electric vehicle charger?

Yes, but the eligible categories have now changed. You can now get assistance with the cost of a charger if you live in a flat or in a rented property. It has also been renamed the EV chargepoint grant.

Changed your mind about an electric van?

Will the reduced electric van grant change your mind about getting an electric van? Let us know via the Parkers feedback email address.