Six months later, the grant was withdrawn entirely, with the government hailing “success in the electric car revolution” as the rationale behind its cancellation.
Taylor told the inquiry that manufacturers face a challenge in ensuring “at a market level, the demand is there to achieve these targets holistically”.
“We don’t want to be forcing people to have an electric [car],” he added.
“Again, that comes back to [improving the charging infrastructure] and the total cost of ownership, and particularly pertinently, incentives are needed for private retail customers within the small and family car area to help that transition and to help that cost of ownership.”
Research published by car sales platform Auto Trader in April, nine months after the grant was axed, stated that the number of enquiries sent to retailers about new electric cars had fallen by 65% year on year. BEVs accounted for 9% of all new car enquiries at that point, a third of the proportion recorded a year earlier.
Nonetheless, sales of BEVs continue to rise. During the first half of 2023, 152,968 new electric cars were sold in the UK, 32.7% greater than during the same period last year, according to figures published by industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in July.