The government is keen to get as many road users as possible to move on to low emission vehicles, primarily hybrid and fully electric cars. As may be expected when the push towards a change in habits is so strong, this is accompanied by a financial incentive – specifically the OZEV Grant.
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) leads the way for the government in encouraging people across the country to switch from comparatively pollutant vehicles powered by petrol and diesel to those that use cleaner fuels.
The official name for the home-based grant is the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS). In practice, it means that anyone that purchases a qualifying electric or hybrid vehicle can receive up to £350 from the government for the purpose of buying and the cost of installing a home charging point.
While ownership of an electric car or hybrid vehicle is essential when applying for the grant, there are several other factors to consider. The priorities for a successful application are:
While the OZEV plug-in car grant is designed to encourage people to replace their existing vehicles with a hybrid or electric car, fitting this criterion is not all there is to a successful application. Essentially, not all electric vehicles and hybrids qualify.
With that said, if your vehicle is fully electric, it is guaranteed to be suitable for the OZEV grant. However, if you own a plug-in hybrid, you must consider the CO2 emissions of your vehicle. Hybrids are only available for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) if they officially produce CO2 emissions calculated as being below 50g/km.
In practice, this covers the majority of electric vehicles, spanning a variety of cars and vans from all major manufacturers.
The easiest way to determine whether you own an eligible vehicle is to check the government’s official list of electric cars and hybrid vehicles that are suitable for the grant scheme, which can be found here.
As noted, the EVHS Grant can be worth up to £350 towards the purchase price and cost of installing a charging point at your home, and the government will provide this grant to anyone that meets the criteria outlined above regarding their car and home.
The easiest way to apply for and receive the grant is to do so through an approved charging point installer. They can verify that their customers are electric vehicle owners and have placed an order for one or more charging points on their property.
To make a claim, simply alert the company of your intention to claim the EVHS grant when placing an order and arranging an installation date. The grant will be claimed on your behalf and applied to the invoice for installing the charging points, covering costs associated with purchasing the hardware and assigning a local installer.
Owners of electric vehicles in Scotland are eligible not only for the EVHS grant, but also an additional grant through Energy Saving Trust Scotland.
This further grant applies only to Scottish residents who have made the switch to electric and is an independent government grant worth up to £300. This is in addition to the original OZEV Grant and can potentially reduce the installation cost of an off-street charging point for eligible electric vehicles by up to £650 in total.
Anyone in Scotland who is eligible for the grant can continue to apply in the same way, with the easiest option being to go through your OZEV approved installer. As long as your eligible electric vehicle meets the emissions standards to qualify for the government grant, it is likely to qualify for the equivalent grant from the Energy Saving Trust, and your local installation business will be able to advise and apply directly on your behalf.
The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a similar government grant designed for businesses, public sector organisations and charities. It is an equivalent plug-in car grant to install one or more charging points at a commercial property for the use of multiple electric vehicle owners.
It has no bearing on home charging arrangements and provides an alternative pool of funding support towards widening the availability of charging points for widespread use.
If you or your business has applied for an alternative plug-in car grant beyond the workplace charging scheme, this has no bearing on your opportunity to apply for the EVHS grant for home use.
If your electric vehicle is owned by your business, you may still be eligible for grants in your region. As long as you have proof that any company cars have been assigned to you for a minimum period of at least six months, you can still qualify for a reduction in the cost of installing a charger on your premises.
Anyone with an electric car thinking of applying for the OZEV Grant can do so on up to two vehicles. If your household owns two plug-in vehicles or ultra-low emission cars, you can apply for the grant twice – once for each eligible vehicle.
Both eligible vehicles where emissions are below 50g/km must meet the same criteria to be eligible for the OZEV grant, but both applications can be combined into one and put forward through the business you choose to install the chargepoint. Costs are combined, with both home charging installations taking place at the same time and the value of the OZEV grants combining towards the cost of supply and installation.
The government grant scheme is capped at a maximum of two grants per household at this time and your installer can provide advice and support on eligibility and making a claim for the maximum grant amount.
If you currently only have one eligible electric vehicle, it is possible to claim towards the purchase price of one home charging kit for a single electric car, while applying again for the second plug-in vehicle in the future. However, it is important to remember that off-street parking is an essential requirement for a grant application, and there must be adequate space on a driveway or in a garage for both electric cars to have their own charger.
Beyond the requirements surrounding the specific car you have and the maximum number of chargers available at each residential property, there are other things to consider when determining if you qualify for any of the applicable electric car grants:
In most cases, you will not be required to make an up-front payment towards the cost of your charger purchase. One of the main reasons for drivers to let their installer handle the application is that they can build it into the overall price. They will assess your charging requirements and advise on the best location for your charger point, then apply on your behalf.
While the grant can be worth up to £350, it is designed to cover up to 75% of the total installation price. You will be required to sign a contract with the installer to authorise the application and begin the process. When they have verified that your electric car is suitable for the scheme and that you have the requisite off-street parking, they will complete the paperwork.
You will be able to arrange a suitable means to pay the remaining 25% of the installation cost to complete the project independently. In the vast majority of cases, you will not be required to pay the full amount upfront before claiming it back in the future.
The process of receiving financial support for the installation of new chargers for drivers with a new electric car or plug-in hybrid has been designed to be as simple as possible. In the majority of cases, your chosen charger installation company will be able to advise fully on everything from whether your electric vehicle meets the criteria for emissions to whether you can apply for multiple chargers at the same property.
Different drivers have varying requirements, from eligibility for the scheme through to the best place for their charging point on their property. Experienced installers will be able to provide a full service spanning planning, installation and completion while advising on the best chargers for each use case on an individual basis.
If you own a fully electric car and it is registered in the United Kingdom, the chances are that you will have no issues with applying for and receiving the OZEV Grant.
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