In 2020, the Prime Minister set out his ten-point plan that has been created to help speed up the UK’s switch to electric vehicles, and aims to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars before 2030.
The OLEV grant is a Government initiative that provides anyone purchasing an eligible electric vehicle £350 off of the cost of a home vehicle charger. Whilst it is relatively easy to get this grant approved, there are a number of requirements that you should be aware of before you purchase your vehicle and charger.
Requirements for the OLEV grant
In order to qualify for the OLEV grant, you must have purchased an OLEV-eligible electric car or hybrid vehicle no earlier than 1st October 2016. You must also be able to show that you have evidence of a lease, or a vehicle on order, as well as being the named driver of the car.
When installing the home charger, you must use a Government-approved installer, otherwise, you will not be able to make a claim. The home charger itself must be OLEV-approved. Generally, most chargers will be accepted, but it is worth checking through the charger’s website as they will mention the OLEV grant, if eligible.
It is also vital that you have private, off-street parking so that the charging cable does not cross your front garden onto the public pavement – if this is not the case then you will be unable to get the grant as the scheme will not be held responsible for any injuries or issues that involve the general public.
Which vehicles and chargers are eligible for the grant?
The Government has a dedicated OLEV department that constantly updates which vehicles are eligible for the grant. Many different makes are available including Audi, BMW, and Nissan, however, it is important to check through the Government website here before you commit to your electric vehicle, as purchasing a car and then finding out that it is not eligible is an expensive mistake to make!
As this grant is aimed at encouraging people to make the switch to greener energy, only cars that emit less than 75g/km of CO2 will be eligible. This means that the vast majority of fully electric vehicles are eligible, as they are zero emissions, but many hybrid vehicles are not approved because they run half off of fuel and often emit more than 75g/km of CO2.
Your charger must use smart technology in order to be eligible for the grant. This means that it can be accessed remotely by you, and can receive and react to a digital signal – allowing you to set charging times and energy caps.
One of the most popular home chargers, the Tesla Wall Connector, is not currently eligible for the grant, often taking people by surprise. Therefore, as with vehicles, it is always important to check with your supplier whether your smart charger can be bought using the OLEV scheme.
What is the process of claiming the OLEV grant?
The first step in the process of claiming the grant is to research the different electric cars and home chargers that are on the market currently. Once you have decided on these and checked that both are eligible for the grant, you can begin the grant process.
When purchasing the charger alongside a new car, the dealership will apply for the grant on your behalf. Or, if you just need an electric home charger, the accredited installer will process the application for you. These companies will need some details from you, in order to make a successful claim.
OLEV Grant Evidence and paperwork
In order to submit an OLEV grant claim, you will need to ensure that you can provide evidence to prove your eligibility for the grant. For private grant applications, you must be able to provide one of the following: the vehicle’s registration number; confirmation of the vehicle being on order; or a leasing agreement. All of this documentation must match the details of the person claiming the grant in order to be successful.
OLEV Grant Business eligibility
For business grant applications, this can be slightly more complicated. A letter from the employer on official headed paper, stating that you are the user of the vehicle for at least 6 months will be required – this letter must include the company registration and VAT numbers in order to be accepted. This type of evidence will also be necessary if you are leasing the vehicle through a salary sacrifice scheme.
You will also need to supply the vehicle’s make and model, along with your MPAN or energy supply number and your home address – these details must all match on every piece of evidence when you apply for the grant, or you will have your claim rejected.
If you are a resident of Scotland, you may be able to apply for an additional grant of up to £300. This is provided through the Energy Saving Trust set up by the Scottish Government.
Scotland also offers a Used Electric Vehicle Loan, an initiative that has been funded by Transport Scotland and offers eligible drivers in Scotland a loan of up to £20,000 to cover the cost of purchasing a used electric car. The list of eligible vehicles is the same as the OLEV grant – though hybrids are not accepted – and the vehicle must be purchased through a UK dealership that has the correct accreditation.
OLEV Grant Summary
If you are looking to buy an electric vehicle, or already have one, a smart charger comes with a multitude of benefits that can not only save you money, but also time. The OLEV grant is a great way to reduce the cost of your home charger, and once you have checked whether your vehicle and charger are eligible, it is incredibly simple to apply and be approved.
This is a great scheme by the Government that can help encourage people to ditch petrol and diesel vehicles, and make electric cars more affordable in the long run.