The BVRLA has welcomed the range of electric vehicle grants and tax incentives announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in today's (11 March) Budget.

The trade body for the vehicle rental, leasing and fleet industry said the measures would provide a major boost for those looking to speed-up the transition to zero-emission transport.

Key announcements that will support fleets and help drive the uptake of electric vehicles include a £532m pledge to maintain the Plug-In Car and Van Grants until March 2023; a further £500m for rapid charging infrastructure, including a new fund to support connections to the electricity grid; and the removal of the Van Benefit Charge for zero-emission vans from 2021.

The government also announced a fuel duty freeze, an extra £304m to support local authority air quality measures and £29.5bn for roads and pothole repair.

It also said it would launch two major new reviews – a call for evidence on how Vehicle Excise Duty can be used to support uptake of zero and ultra-low emission vehicles, and an electric vehicle charging infrastructure review.

In the run up to this year’s Budget the BVRLA and its members had emphasised the importance of having a long-term transport decarbonisation strategy focussed on grants, tax incentives and infrastructure, that would give fleets and drivers the confidence to commit to a zero-emission future.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney (pictured) said: “Tackling road transport emissions and improving air quality is top of the agenda for government, industry and society.

“Today’s Budget shows that the Government is listening and is ready to support those that are ambitious enough to embrace its decarbonisation targets.”

Added David Savage, regional manager, UK & Ireland, at telematics specialist Geotab: “We warmly welcome the Government’s incentives for driving EV adoption in the UK. The increased charging infrastructure along with tax reductions and consumer incentives for electric vehicles will certainly make the switch an easier decision to make.

"Over the coming months and years, Geotab would like to see how the Government translates this into the business sector – further enabling entire fleets to help the UK hit its climate objectives. Yes, larger scale production of EVs will aid, but the incentives and subsidies must be on a par.

"Only when you have both businesses and the individuals working together to a common goal will the UK’s green transport transformation be truly realised. We eagerly anticipate the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ review.”