Minister have again cut the plug-in cat grant. We detail which models are eligible for the reduced £1,500 subsidy
**UPDATE 20/12/21 – Vauxhall has slashed the price of its Corsa-e and Mokka-e electric vehicles by around £3,000 in order for most to be eligible for the grant***
Originally launched in 2011, the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) offered up to £5,000 off the price of a new EV.
But a decade later, transport ministers have bludgeoned the value of the subsidy to just £1,500 and capped its availability to models priced up to a maximum of £32,000 – down from £35,000 previously.
This means all expensive models from the likes of Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Jaguar are all priced out of the scheme.
Before the grant was cut, some 27 models were eligible for the grant. Since it was scaled back at the end of December, only 18 models on sale qualify for the £1,500 subsidy.
We’ve listed the cars that are eligible – and some that are likely to have their prices trimmed so they sit below the new £32,000 threshold.
Here’s a run-down of the grant-entitled EVs, running from the cheapest to the most expensive.
All models listed below are shown with their prices with the £1,500 grant included.
Smart EQ Fortwo
Price: From £20,725
Versions eligible for grant: All versions
Range: 70 miles
The cheapest new electric car you can buy is the Smart EQ Fortwo – though don’t expect to go on any long-distance journeys in this compact city car
The Smart EQ Fortwo is the cheapest electric car in Britain right now, with prices starting from £20,725 including the £1,500 PiCG subsidy.
Both a cabrio and coupe version are available, with the latter being the cheaper of the two choices – expect to pay a premium of around £2,400 for the soft-top equivalent.
The Daimler-owned brand offers a plush interior, though – with just two seats and a tiny boot – not much space.
The range is just as limited as the luggage capacity, with a 70-mile driving distance on a full charge. It means the Fortwo is designed specifically for urban use rather than motorway schleps and is therefore only suitable for certain motorists.
Smart EQ Forfour
Price: From £20,795
Versions eligible for grant: All versions
Range: 70 miles
Like the smaller EQ Fortwo, the four-seat Forfour has a range of just 70 miles, rendering it useful only for urban driving
If the Fortwo doesn’t offer enough interior space for you, the four-seat Forfour (as the name suggests) means you can carry passengers and fit items – such as a small suitcase – in the boot.
It shares the same interior and mechanical underpinnings as the Fortwo, meaning quirky design and plenty of quality.
However, the two also share the same electric drivetrain and battery, which means the same 70-mile range. For many drivers, this won’t be enough – especially when you’re spending almost £20,000 on a supermini.
Smart has also removed its availability from its UK website, suggesting you might not be able to get your hands on one in showrooms.
Price: From £21,995
Versions eligible for grant: All but the range-topping La Prima Convertible
Range: 199 miles
Fiat has made a bold statement by selling only electric versions of the new 500. The range-topping cabrio version is currently priced too high to qualify for the PiCG
Fiat has made a bold statement with its all-new 500 city car; it will be available only with an electric powertrain, while the older model will be retained for the coming years to fulfil orders of those wanting a petrol engine.
The new 500, which will be in UK showrooms this year, has a 199 mile range and comes in the choice of hatchback or the rag-top cabrio, with a fabric roof that folds down towards the boot lid.
The cheapest version is the ‘Action’ trim, which has a smaller 24kW battery and starts from £21,995 inclusive of the PiCG. The top of the range La Prima Convertible with the bigger 42kW battery pack is priced at £33,495, so is not eligible for the grant at all.
Versions eligible for grant: Only one version on sale
Range: 159 miles
If you want a small electric city car with lots of badge kudos, the VW e-Up! is one of the models that easily qualifies for the plug-in car grant
Volkswagen’s e-Up is mechanically the same as the Seat Mii Electric and Skoda CitiGo-e, with all three built at the same factory.
However, the sister models have already sold out and are no longer available in UK showrooms.
The e-Up had cost almost £1,000 more than the Seat version. That essentially buys you the badge kudos of driving around in a VW.
Of all the small cars in this list, the e-Up! has the most grown-up interior.
Price: From £25,805
Versions eligible for grant: SE Nav Premium, SRi Nav Premium, Elite
Range: 209 miles
Vauxhall looks set to be onto a winner with the Corsa-e, especially as its closest rival – the Ford Fiesta – is yet to launch a plug-in model
Vauxhall’s Corsa is currently the best-selling car in Britain, and the popularity of the Corsa-e has something to do with it.
While Ford is yet to sell an electric Fiesta, the next best zero-emission option for the masses is the Corsa-e, which shares its underpinning with the Peugeot e-208 (next on our list).
Vauxhall was one of the first brand’s to react to the most recent grant cuts, slashing the price of its electric models, including the Corsa-e, to shoehorn them into the scheme. It means the new starting price of the electric supermini is £25,805 (inclusive of the grant) and the ‘Elite’ specification now qualifies alongside the SE Nav Premium and SRi Nav. Only the range-topping Ultimate doesn’t sit under the £32,000 price cap.
Price: From £26,995
Versions eligible for grant: Leaf Acenta, Leaf N-Connecta (no Leaf e+ eligible)
Range: 168 miles
Nissan’s Sunderland-built Leaf is one of the longest-running EVs on the market. Only lower-spec, smaller battery versions of the model currently qualify for the electric car grant
The Leaf, which is one of the longest-running electric cars in Britain, is one model that has been hit hardest by the latest cuts to the plug-in car grant.
Currently, only the lower-spec, small-battery examples qualify for the grant, with the Acenta and N-Connecta priced below £32,000. These provide a range of up to 168 miles from a 40kWh battery.
For those wanting the longer 239-mile range of the Leaf e+ models – with a bigger 62kWh battery pack – then you will need to pay full price, as the cheapest retails at £32,945. We fully expect an announcement from Nissan shortly to say pricing has been adjusted to make most – if not all – Leafs eligible for the grant.
Price: From £27,000
Versions eligible for grant: Level 1, Level 2
Range: 140 miles
The Oxford-built Mini Electric is one of the most fun zero-emission models on the market. Only the Level 1 and Level 2 trims currently qualify for the £1,500 subsidy
The electric version of the Mini is produced at the brand’s Plant Oxford factory and is a driving force behind a recent rise in the hatchback’s popularity.
The urban-centric Mini has just 140 miles of range, but it part of an enjoyable package with responsive handling and a sporty feel that will put a smile on the most devout of petrol-head’s face.
Only the Level 1 and Level 2 trims are eligible for the £1,500 grant, with the Level 3 (priced at £34,500) and range-topping ‘Collection’ (£35,050) above the scheme’s £32,000 cap.
Price: From £27,145
Versions eligible for grant: All but the range-topping GT Sport Tech
Range: 124 miles
Mazda’s MX-30 is the Japanese firm’s first ever EV. While it might have interesting looks and plenty of practicality inside, a range of just 124 miles won’t be enough for all drivers
The MX-30 is Mazda’s first attempt at an electric car. The funky crossover has pillarless clamshell doors, lots of interior space and impressive handling.
Every model in the range bar the top-spec ‘GT Sport Tech’ trim level (£32,945) are eligible for the grant, offering up to £1,500 off the price.
However, there is an issue – the range. Mazda’s offering of just 124 miles will be too short for many drivers, especially when you consider real-world figures are somewhat short of the official numbers quoted.
Price: From £27,495
Versions eligible for grant: All versions
Range: 214-250 miles
The first large model to feature in our list is from MG Motor, which is operated by Chinese firm SAIC. The 5 EV is a family-size estate car with a claimed range in excess of 200 miles
MG Motor, which has relaunched under Chinese ownership (the parent company is Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation), has two electric models in its fleet, including the 5 EV.
It’s a family-friendly estate car with a 214-mile range, which will be ample for many drivers. A new ‘Long Range’ version launched in July offers up to 250 miles.
Priced from under £28,000 (for the lesser-range version) when factoring in the plug-in car grant, its proof that not all large electric models are ultra expensive. It is worth noting that there have been historical issues with the roof rails of the 5 EV.
MG ZS EV
Price: From £27,495
Versions eligible for grant: All Standard Range models and entry-spec Long Range SE
Range: up to 273 miles
The MG Motor ZS EV might be a more appealing package than the 5 EV estate with SUVs generally more desirable to Britons
If an estate car isn’t your thing, MG also sells a ZS EV SUV. A new Standard Range version was launched in February 2022, with a smaller battery and range off 198 miles.
The Long Range version is around £2,000 more expensive, meaning only the entry-level SE trim is eligible for the grant.
The ZS is one of the best low-cost electric family models currently on the market, offering lots of space and a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
Price: From £28,135
Versions eligible for grant: Pure Performance Life, Pro Life
Range: 216-264 miles
Volkswagen’s ID.3 is arguably the most important – and will be of the most bought – model in this list. Just two versions of the Golf-size electric hatchbacks are eligible for the grant
The ID.3 is arguably the most important model in this list – it’s the first from-the-ground-up EV designed by the German giant and the original model in its dedicated ID range. Following the emissions cheating scandal in 2015, this is among the first cars to repair the brand’s damaged reputation.
It’s a medium-size hatchback sharing similar dimensions to the company’s hugely popular Golf, and is just £7,000 (a relatively small difference compared to other models in this list) more expensive than the cheapest Golf with a petrol engine under the bonnet.
Volkswagen in July revised its ID.3 line-up to boost the number of models eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant, but since the Government moved the goalposts with a new £32,000 price cap in December, only two qualify for the scheme
They are the Life Pure Performance with the smallest 45kWh battery (up to 216-mile range) and the slightly bigger 58kWh entry model, being the Life Pro (up to 264-mile range). None of the 77kWh battery versions – offering up to 340 miles of range – qualify for the scheme currently.
Price: From £28,225
Versions eligible for grant: Active Premium, Allure Premium
Range: 217 miles
The Corsa-e shares its underpinnings with the Peugeot e-208. The latter – in our opinion – is the better looking of the two electric superminis
If you’re looking for a stylish electric supermini priced this side of £30,000, the e-208 from Peugeot is a good option.
It not only looks incredibly handsome from the outside but has an ample range of 217 miles. Not every version of the electric Peugeot is eligible for the electric car grant, though. Only the entry-spec Active Premium and Allure Premium qualify, while the GT and GT Premium (with the same 50kWh battery) are above the scheme’s £32,000 cap.
Compared to the Mini Electric, the e-208 looks like an attractive proposal.
Renault Zoe E-Tech Electric
Price: From £28,595
Versions eligible for grant: Only the entry-spec Play
Range: 234 miles
Like the Leaf, the Renault Zoe has been kicking around for some time. It’s a popular small plug-in model but a recent Euro NCAP crash test revealed it isn’t particularly safe
The Zoe has been on the market longer than most EVs in this list and, previously, was among the cheapest pure-electric cars you could buy in the UK.
That’s no longer the case, with a new pricing structure pushing prices higher than some rivals – and for all but the entry-spec Play too expensive to be eligible for the grant. That means you can only save £1,500 on the price of a Zoe that can cover 234 miles between charges, rather than the longest range of 245 miles.
A 2021 Euro NCAP crash test revealed that since the Zoe was facelifted in 2020, Renault has been selling it without a vital head-protecting airbag. As a result, the testing body awarded it a zero star safety rating – only the third car in a quarter of a century to get the bottom score.
Nissan e-NV200 Combi
Price: From £28,855
Versions eligible for grant: Only the entry-spec Visia (both 5 or 7 seats)
Range: 124 miles
For those with big families and needing seven seats, the Nissan e-NV200 Combi is the only people carrier with an electric powertrain that qualifies for the grant today
If you’re looking for an electric people carrier, only Nissan’s e-NV200 Combi qualifies for the grant.
The entry-spec versions – called ‘Visia’ – of both the five- and seven-seat e-NV200 qualify for the scheme, with on-the-road prices below the £32,000 subsidy ceiling.
With just 124 miles of range, it’s not one designed for ultra-long trips. However, if you have a big family, it would make the ideal school-run wagon and ultra-green commuter.
Hyundai Kona Electric 39kWh
Price: From £28,950
Versions eligible for grant: Only 39kWh battery SE Connect and Premium versions (64kWh battery versions not eligible)
Range: 155 miles
Only the smaller battery capacity Hyundai Kona Electric is eligible for the Government’s reduced subsidy since December 2021
Hyundai’s electric Kona SUV is available with two battery sizes: a smaller 39kWh battery offering a fully-charged driving range of 155 miles, or the bigger 64kWh with a longer 245-mile range.
All 39kWh versions already qualified for the grant but prices of the 64kWh models exceed the lowered £32,000 price cap threshold set by the Department for Transport. However, that could change if Hyundai wants to make the Kona more attractive to customers.
The Kona gets rave reviews for its completeness and practical layout.
Price: From £29,365
Versions eligible for the grant: All versions
Range: 201 miles
The Mokka-e is the latest model showing Vauxhall daring new direction under French ownership
Under the – relatively bold and bright – skin of the Mokka-e are the same underpinnings as the Peugeot e-2008, which is becoming a common theme now that the French parent firm Groupe PSA also owns Vauxhall (and Opel in mainland Europe).
It has a claimed range of 201 miles, which is actually a few miles shy of e-2008’s 206-mile claim. However, in the real world, the difference should be negligible and the Mokka-e’s boxy and flamboyant looks might sway your decision.
When the latest grant cuts were announced, the Mokka-e was too expensive to qualify for the scheme. However, the brand has since slashed prices by £3,000 so every specification is now eligible for the £1,500 saving.
Price: From £30,165
Versions eligible for grant: Only the entry-spec e (not the e Advance)
Range: 137 miles
The Honda-e has a relatively short range but makes up for that with charming looks and a swanky interior. It’s one of the most interesting offerings eligible for the £1,500 grant
Honda’s first EV is an exciting one. Of all the models in this list, the ‘e’ is by far the best looking, with a quirky compact design that replicates the style of seventies and eighties boxy hot hatches.
A funky interior, dashboard-spanning screen and the omission of wing mirrors (cameras on stalks that beam an image to screens in the cabin instead) make it stand out in terms of appeal. It’s arguably the most charming EV on sale right now.
However, when you’re paying over £30,000 for an electric car including a Government subsidy, you might want more than 130 miles of range. The higher-spec e Advance is also no longer eligible for the grant as it costs £34,165 – some £2,165 over the scheme’s price cap.
SsangYong Korando eMotion
Versions eligible for grant: Ventura
Range: approx 200 miles
The SsanyYong Korando eMotion – the brand’s first electric model – isn’t even on sale yet, but the Government claims it will be eligible for the reduced plug-in car grant
SsangYong’s first pure-electric vehicle, the Korando eMotion, is due to go on sale in January 2022 and the Government seemingly already knows the ‘Ventura’ trim level will be eligible for the sub-£32,000 grant.
The SUV will rival to the MG ZS with a range of around 200 miles.
ELECTRIC CARS CAUGHT OUT BY THE LATEST CUTS TO THE GRANT
These are the models that were previously eligible for the plug-in car grant when the price cap was at £35,000…
BMW i3 and i3s
Range: 173-190 miles
The i3 and more potent i3s had received a ‘pricing realignment’ from BMW UK so both can continue to benefit from the electric car grant – but now they’re priced too high to qualify
No BMW is eligible for the reduced grant, including the long-running i3.
The less potent i3 offers a range of 182 to 190 miles on a single charge, while the more powerful i3s has 173 to 175 miles on a full battery capacity.
Range: 217 miles
Citroen was the first to react to ministers’ decision to cut the grant in March 2021, but has since been priced out of the scheme
One of the latest newcomers to the market is Citroen’s quirky e-C4. The French firm was one of the first to react to the Government’s March 2021 lowered cap, but now not a single version sits below the new £32,000 threshold.
The brand has switched to a crossover look for the latest C4 and the interior is suitably plush with a large 10-inch touchscreen dominating the cabin.
A 217-mile claimed range will be suitable for most, and the Citroen also has an 11kW charger, which can complete a charge in around five hours on a 32-amp home wallbox.
DS 3 Crossback E-Tense
Range: 191-206 miles
DS Automobiles is launching cars with comfort and style in mind. The DS3 Crossback E-Tense fulfils that quota
The DS3 Crossback E-Tense is the French luxury marque’s answer to a compact electric family SUV.
While it shares many of its mechanical parts with the Peugeot e-2008 and (soon to follow) Vauxhall Mokka-e, the suspension is tuned to be more cosseting on bumpy roads, and the interior and exterior have flashes of fashion-inspired design.
The price cap of £32,000 for the grant means it is no longer eligible for the scheme.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Range: 194 miles
Hyundai’s Ioniq feels long in the tooth compared to the latest models listed here. Dealers are likely to offer discounts on this particular car
In electric car terms, the Ioniq is getting a little long in the tooth. Hyundai remedied this with a battery update for 2021, meaning there’s an extra 26 miles of range to make it more competitive against rivals.
Hyundai had previously slashed prices by around £1,100 so it could sit within the grant’s threshold. But we will have to see if they do the same in again after the latest round of cuts.
Range: 180-282 miles
All Kia e-Niros with the smaller 39kWh battery had previously qualified for the grant, but that is no longer the case as of December 2021
Like the Hyundai Kona sister car (which is eligible for the grant), the Kia e-Niro comes with the choice of a 39kWh or 64kWh battery. The former provides up to 180 miles of range, while the latter promises up to 282 miles.
All variants of the 39kWh version – called the e-Niro ‘2’ – cost less than £35,000, but are more than £32,000 so no longer meet the restriction to qualify for the grant.
Kia Soul EV
Range: 280 miles
Kia had slashed the price of the Soul EV to shoehorn it into the grant’s eligibility but since the cap was reduced to £32,000 it again doesn’t qualify
Kia decided to slash the price of the Soul EV in order to force it to qualify for the grant back in March, but it no longer meets the pricing criteria, with all versions over £32,000
The First Edition Long Range with a 64kWh battery provides up to 280 miles of range on a full charge and is a perfectly capable family wagon.
Range: 206 miles
Peugeot’s e-2008 is no longer available for the grant. Previously, only its lower trim levels qualified
Peugeot was another to trim the prices of its e-2008 when the Government slashed the price cap in March 2021, but not a single version now qualifies for the scheme.
Like the smaller 208-e (which is in our list of eligible motors), it’s a great looking car with a very modern interior that targeted specifically at European customers looking for plush materials and lots of tech.
A 206-mile range and fast charging times means it should be a capable family car for all types of journeys.
Skoda Enyaq iV
Range: 256 miles
With a driving range of 256 miles and plenty of interior space, Skoda’s Enyaq looked to have a winning formula that could tempt motorists out of their petrol and diesel SUVs before being priced out of the electric car grant
In terms of a competent electric family car, the Enyaq iV is proof that the latest models to hit the market are always moving the goalposts further and making EV ownership more feasible to a growing percentage of motorists.
Yet it is another to have fallen victim to the Government’s decision to lower the electric car grant price cap. Not a single version is eligible for the scheme today.
Range: 231 miles
In May, VW announced a new base-spec version of the ID.4 SUV – which was voted World Car of the Year for 2021. The City Pure spec offers 231 miles of range and a grant-compliant price
The ID.4 comes with plenty of credentials, not least being voted the World Car of the Year for 2021.
The family SUV hit showrooms earlier this year and is one of the cars to suffer worst from the cuts to the grant, meaning the entire range is priced out of the £2,500 subsidy.
Even the new cheapest entry-spec model in the range – called the ‘City Pure’ and launched in May 2021 – doesn’t meet the Government grant’s pricing criteria.
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