Barely a month goes by where there isn't blame being thrown at motorists for causing pollution problems in our towns and cities. The UK is also likely to miss its next CO2 reduction targets. So why has the government just scrapped the plug-in car grant for the majority of plug-in vehicles sold?
From the middle of next month, the current subsidy programme for electrified vehicles will be overhauled completely. No plug-in hybrid on sale will be eligible for a list price discount – previously £2500 (and before 2016 £5000) – while even the subsidy for full EVs will be cut by £1000.
The changes come just as electrified vehicles are gaining a foothold in the market, and a small one at that. Up until September this year, PHEVs and EVs made up just 2.5% of all new cars sold in Britain. Yet the government claims the plug-in market is now "more established", and grants are not needed to support it.
That just doesn't add up, especially when consumers are supposed to be persuaded (rightly or wrongly) out of diesel cars.
Compare the UK's situation with Norway - an exception but one that proves the success of incentives. Over half of all new cars registered there last year were plug-in hybrids or BEVs, and two of the bestselling cars are fully electric.