How nations around the world are encouraging electric car ownership

UK: Subsidies £2500 for sub-£35,000 cars that officially emit less than 50g/km and have an EV range of 70 miles or more.

Infrastructure: More than 26,000 public chargers.

Interesting fact: A China-style ‘percentage of production’ EV mandate will be introduced for manufacturers in 2024.

The UK has been subsidising plug-in cars since 2011 and their market share reached 10.7% last year. Its strength is the benefit-in-kind tax scheme, in which EVs are currently liable for just 1% (2% from next year, but that’s fixed until 2025), generating serious demand among fleets. Its downfall is a convoluted public charging infrastructure, with multiple suppliers and payment methods.


Subsidies: €6000 (£5000) off cars costing up to €45k (€38k) and emitting up to 20g/km; €2000 (£1700) for €45k-€60k (£38k-£51k) EVs; and €1000 (£850) for plug-in hybrids.

Infrastructure: Around 35,000 public chargers.

Interesting fact: A scrappage scheme offers four-figure grants (the exact sum depends on the vehicle) towards EVs and clean ICE models when drivers trade in an old car.

France, like China, had planned to reduce its EV subsidies but recently extended them into next year. It intends to ban new petrol and diesel car sales in 2040, but the government has been criticised for promising there will be 100,000 chargers by the end of 2021, because it’s clearly some way short of that.


Subsidies: Up to €9000 (£7500) for BEVs costing up to €40,000 (£34,000) and €6750 (£5700) for hybrids; €7500 (£6300) and €5625 (£4700) for those costing more than €40,000.

Infrastructure: Circa 45,000 public chargers.

Interesting fact: Its 2030 climate action programme included plans for a law requiring landlords to “tolerate the installation of charging infrastructure”.


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