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The boss of Halfords has accused the Government of taking a “backwards step” with its decision to end the plug-in car grants scheme.

The Government confirmed earlier this week that it was scrapping the £1,500 subsidy for purchases of new electric cars, saying it would “refocus” funding to encourage users of other vehicles to make the switch to electric.

But the move has been met with anger in the industry, and Halfords chief executive Graham Stapleton said it would delay the transition towards the greater use of electric vehicles.

He said: “Until now, we have been greatly encouraged by the Government’s commitment to making the transition to electric cars. However, the sudden and complete removal of the plug-in subsidy is a backward step.

“It will delay mass adoption at a time when we need to be doing everything we can to help people to choose greener transport options. We are writing to the Secretary of State for Transport to ask him to reconsider.”

It came as Halfords revealed a jump in profits thanks to continued growth in its motoring and autocentres businesses.

The London-listed company reported a 50pc increase in pre-tax profits to £96.6m in the year to April. That’s also represented a 325pc rise on the £22.7m profit it posted in the year before the pandemic hit.

However, shares tumbled almost 20pc as the retailer warned of supply chain disruption and said it expected profits to be lower this year amid economic uncertainty.

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