It goes to show just how important car makers see the plug-in car grant that they have already reacted and dropped the prices of key models below the £35,000 cap that has now been introduced.
Kia’s e-Niro 2 Long Range, which comes with the larger 64kWh battery, previously clocked in at just under £36,000 before the PiCG, which wasn’t an issue until last week when the short-sighted limitations were put on the grant. The £35k cap on the grant suddenly put a stop to the ability for customers to buy one of the most cost-effective and efficient EVs with a genuine c.300 mile on the market, limiting them to the 39kWh version.
Kia has countered this by dropping the on-the-road price to £34,945 before the PiCG, qualifying the car for the now £2500 grant and taking the cost to the customer down to £32,445. Whilst this might still seem like a fair chunk of money, on a PCP finance deal it amounts to a useful monthly difference.
Whilst we’d usually shy away from consumer surveys as sources of truth, the fact that What Car? conducted a survey which showed almost 80 per cent of the 2456 in-market car buyers disagreed with the PiCG cut, it’s clear that any good will from manufacturers will be well received.
We reckon that the Kia e-Niro with the 64kWh battery is an electric car you can own without having to make any compromises, and we awarded it five out of five stars. Check out our review.
Vauxhall has revised the prices for its forthcoming Mokka-e to ensure it slides in under £35,000 before the PiCG is applied, whilst the Vivaro-e Life has had two grand knocked off its starting price to squeeze it below the £35k.
Citroën has ‘realigned’ the price of its ë-C4, knocking £550 off the price of its best-selling ‘Shine Plus’ spec car to keep it qualifying for the grant. It has actually capped the ë-C4 model range at £34,995, ensuring that all versions of the car benefit from the brand’s ‘fair pricing’ strategy.
Other manufacturers have been promoting the fact that their entry-level cars still qualify for the scheme. However, this highlights the fact that thanks to the new cap, better-specced, longer range, more practical cars are now beyond the reach of a significant number of buyers. The question is how many of them will ditch the idea of buying an EV altogether as a result…
We’ll keep an eye on the SMMT registration figures to gauge the impact.