Peugeot has joined sister firms Citroen and Vauxhall in tweaking its electric vehicle (EV) prices in the wake of changes to government grants. The French brand has cut the prices of its e-208 and e-2008 electric hatchbacks to ensure all but the most luxurious models remain eligible for the grant.
Earlier this month, the government announced sweeping changes to the Plug-In Car Grant (PICG), which essentially cuts the price of new electric vehicles. The grant previously dropped the price of eligible electric cars by £3,000, but the new rules have cut that to £2,500. The government also decided to change the rules so only vehicles costing less than £35,000 were eligible for the grant.
It’s a decision that met with criticism from many quarters, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which represents car makers and dealers in the UK, saying it was “the wrong move at the wrong time”. The RAC, meanwhile, said: “Ministers seem to talk-the-talk when it comes to encouraging people into cleaner vehicles, but cutting the Plug-In Car Grant certainly isn’t walking the walk.”
However, the Department for Transport (DfT) said the changes to the grant would allow the scheme’s funding to “go further and help more people make the switch to an electric vehicle”. Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said the government is focussing on areas “where taxpayers’ money will make more of a difference”.
The changes have caused a flurry of price changes among electric car manufacturers, as they strive to keep cars eligible for the revamped grant. Citroen, for example, cut the price of its range-topping e-C4 model, while Kia tweaked its model range by adding a base-spec trim level to the ‘long-range’ e-Niro.
Peugeot, meanwhile, has simply decided to cut the price of all e-2008 compact SUV models by £450. That means the three cheapest trim levels – Active Premium, Allure and Allure Premium – all remain eligible for the grant, while the more expensive GT and GT Premium models miss out.
Furthermore, the company is also offering an additional £500 of support in deposit contribution on PCP contracts and cash purchases of e-208 small hatchbacks during March. And contract hire agreements for both businesses and private customers will also benefit from a £500 saving, which means Peugeot is essentially maintaining prices despite the reduction in the PICG.
“The Plug-In Car Grant has helped many make the switch to electric vehicles, and we have ensured our electric cars remain eligible for the grant,” said Julie David, the managing director of Peugeot UK. “The revised pricing of the e-2008 and increased deposit contribution for the e-208 are further evidence of our commitment to electrification with our goal to offer an electrified variant across our entire model line-up by 2025.”