A leading car industry body has called on the new government to protect grants for electric vehicles (EVs).

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has penned an open letter to Boris Johnson, asking the PM to keep the Plug-In Car Grant (PICG), which offers buyers £3,500 off a new electric car. According to the organisation, the grant is a "key" incentive that will help "stimulate" decarbonisation.

The measure is among a handful of suggested policies designed to create jobs and investment in the UK automotive industry, as well as cutting CO2 emissions. These suggestions come after a pre-election letter from a number of organisations asking the next government to protect the grant.

Tesla Model 3 charging

No fewer than 20 major organisations signed the letter, which urged future policy makers to “provide future certainty around the status and lifespan of the vital Plug-In Car and Van Grants”. The letter also told the political parties that any change to the grant must be “gradual and clearly signposted” to give consumers a chance to react.

Commenting on that first letter, the AA's president, Edmund King, said: “The next government must take the lead on averting the climate crisis and giving fleets tangible and long-term incentives to switch to EVs are essential catalysts for change. The cleaner company or fleet car of today soon becomes the greener used car of tomorrow.”

Electric cars charging at British motorway service station in Devon UK

After the election of Boris Johnson, though, the BVRLA has told Number 10 that the fleet industry is “crucial to delivering the UK’s zero-emission goals”. In the letter, the BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney, said the PICG would help “accelerate transport decarbonisation”, as well as urging the government to consider fleets in green policies.

“We will continue to engage with policymakers and work with the new government to help create a thriving electric vehicle market for the UK that will stimulate jobs, investment and decarbonisation as quickly as possible,” said Keaney. “We can do more to accelerate transport decarbonisation if the government provides the right policy incentives, including maintaining the Plug in Car Grant, long term certainty on company car tax and support for connecting charging infrastructure to the electricity grid.

Nissan LEAF charging in UK

“Our car club, rental and leasing members are providing flexible shared transport options for small-to-medium enterprises and individuals to help them make more environmentally friendly journeys. We would like to see government provide support to local authorities to create and join-up policy to develop new transport mobility solutions, including access to cleaner vehicles for low-income households.

“To help businesses further, we are asking government to support drivers who need to upgrade to cleaner vehicles to be compliant with Clean Air Zones. This includes establishing a new, ring-fenced 'Targeted Clean Freight Scrappage Fund' to help commercial vehicle operators upgrade their vans and trucks.”

Signs indicating Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) on London street