The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, is said to be considering a scrappage scheme that would get people out of diesel and petrol vehicles and into cleaner electric vehicles.
According to a report from UK newspaper The Telegraph, drivers could be given up to £6,000 ($7,600) towards a new electric vehicle if they scrap their old combustion engined motor.
The report says the news will come as part of a speech Johnson is expected to give on July 6. The speech will reportedly detail a number of initiatives designed to kick-start the UK economy as more coronavirus lockdown measures lift.
Automotive manufacturing is big business in the UK, with one of the country’s most popular EVs, the Nissan Leaf, being made in the Japanese firm’s Sunderland factory. It’s also worth noting that new car sales are down nearly 90% following the coronavirus lockdowns which closed car dealerships across the nation.
While the scrappage scheme is designed to help bump demand for the automotive industry, it is also supportive of new car buyers. Financial incentives and scrappage schemes address the main reason people avoid making the switch, cost. Typically, EVs are more expensive to buy, compared to their combustion counterparts.
The report doesn’t mention any more specific details, however, given this is a scrappage scheme, we can be sure that it will be a little more nuanced than the plug-in vehicle subsidy the UK government currently hands out.
Generally speaking, scrappage schemes are weighted to provide higher incentives to those that driver older, more polluting vehicles. We can expect those in big old diesel cars to be eligible for the maximum scrappage payment. Those in small, more modern petrol vehicles, will likely get less.
There’s also no mention how the new scheme would affect the current government subsidy for plug-in vehicles.
Either way, it sounds like very good news for the UK car market and its consumers. Earlier this year, the nation’s government announced that it cut its subsidy for electric vehicle by £500, taking it down to £3,000.
Considering that the UK government is also aspiring to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, it’s good to see it thinking about doing something a little more proactive to support buyers rather than coercing them with legislation.