The Role of the Plug-In Car Grant and Plugged-in Places in Electric Vehicle Take Up



The Role of the Plug-In Car Grant and Plugged-in Places in Electric Vehicle Take Up

Authors

John Screeton, UK Department for Transport, Rebecca Hutchins, TRL, Emma Delmonte, TRL

Description

The British Government has set legally binding targets to cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) are expected to have an important role to play in meeting CO2 reduction targets as they have low - zero CO2 emissions at tailpipe. The British Government has implemented a range of incentives to encourage the growth in uptake of ULEVs, two of which are the Plugged-in Places (PiP) scheme and the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG). The aim of this research was to investigate the role of both of these schemes in facilitating electric vehicle (EV) take-up amongst ‘early adopters’i. This included how important the PiCG and PiP scheme were to EV purchasers when deciding whether to purchase; the role of other factors that influenced the purchasing process; the barriers to purchasing an EV; and EV-owners’ experiences of using and charging their vehicles.

Abstract

The British Government has set legally binding targets to cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) are expected to have an important role to play in meeting CO2 reduction targets as they have low to zero CO2 emissions at tailpipe. The Department for Transport and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles have implemented a range of incentives to encourage the growth in uptake of ultra-low emission cars and vans, two of which are the Plugged-in Places (PiP) scheme and the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG). The PiP scheme offered match-funding to organisations and public sector partners to support the installation of recharging structure in eight areas across the UK, while the PiCG entitles organisations and private buyers of new ultra-low emission cars to a grant of 25% towards the vehicle cost, up to a maximum of £5000. The aim of this research was to investigate the role of both of these schemes in facilitating electric vehicle (EV) take-up amongst ‘early adopters’i. This included how important the PiCG and PiP scheme were to EV purchasers when deciding whether to purchase; the role of other factors that influenced the purchasing process; the barriers to purchasing an EV; and EV-owners’ experiences of using and charging their vehicles.
The research methodology utilised both quantitative and qualitative techniques. The quantitative data collection involved telephone and web-based surveys of individuals and organisations who had received the PiCG. The qualitative data collection involved in-depth interviews with private and organisational purchasers of ULEVs, as well as with ULEV dealers, and recent purchasers of internal combustion engine vehicles for comparison. This dual method approach and subsequent analyses provided a broad and deep understanding of the reasons for, and barriers to, adoption of electric vehicles and will be used to inform the development of low emission vehicle policy in the UK.

Publisher

Association for European Transport