The UK's vehicle rental and leasing association (BVRLA) says that the fleet sector must act now to lobby the UK government to keep plug-in car and van grants.

The plug-in grants are set to expire in March, with no commitment from the UK government to renew them. Currently, the UK government will pay for 35% of the price of a car (up to a cap of GBP3,500) that emits less than 50g/km of CO2 and can travel at least 70 miles on electric power alone. Effectively, that criteria rules out plug-in hybrids currently on the market, so it's aimed at fully electric BEVs.

It's expected the government will give details of the future of financial incentives for low-emission vehicles in its budget, which it is set to announce on 11 March.

The BVRLA is urging the fleet sector to write to their local MP and ask for their support in securing long-term support for the grants, which it says are still vital in bridging the purchase price gap between electric and conventionally-powered vehicles.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: "Our members are already buying tens of thousands of electric vehicles each year and are helping businesses and individuals across the country to make the leap to zero emission motoring."

Referencing the new plans to bring forward the petrol and diesel ban to 2035 and to also include hybrids in the ban, Keaney said: "By setting these new decarbonisation targets, the government is in danger of writing a cheque that the fleet sector cannot cash.

"Businesses are being asked to invest billions of pounds in new electric vehicles and infrastructure over a short timescale. Tax incentives are vital, but so are the plug-in grants. They need to be maintained in some form until at least 2025 if we are to deliver the transition that is required."

See also: UK brings forward ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2035