Car tax changes may become 'giant own goal' for electric car boost – here's why


Ian Plummer, spokesperson for AutoTrader said the transition to electric vehicles will “create a big hole” in finances. He said a switch to a pay per mile road pricing strategy may be a “long term solution” but could turn into another “flip flop fiasco” if it’s not handled correctly.

“Road pricing may be part of a long term solution, but if it’s introduced too early or without exemptions for EVs it will be a giant own goal.

“We can’t afford another flip flop fiasco like the one we had with diesel incentives.

“While opinions about the required number of charging points vary from 10 times more than we have today to nearly 100 times, it’s clear that more investment and government support will be required to ensure that charging your car is as easy as refuelling.

“People need to have confidence that those solutions exist – or are definitely on the way – before they purchase, which means that investment needs to be supply led.”

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AutoTrader said in the absence of advantages in the upfront costs for electric models, running costs are one of the main incentives.

For every 1,000 miles driven, a motorist will save around £100 in fuel costs.

However, AutoTrader warns the cost argument will only “stack up” if electric vehicles continue to be cheaper.

They warned this could be “undermined” if road pricing was introduced in exchange for fuel duty.

He added: “As things stand the Plug-in Car Grant is due to be withdrawn in 2023 and the benefit-in-kind tax break in 2025.

“With incentives playing such a key role in stimulating demand, manufacturers will lose interest in the UK if it is not aligned with the levels of support seen in the other key European markets.”

The Chancellor was understood to be seriously considering road pricing but the scheme was later scrapped.

A source told the Daily Mail there was an “issue” around revenues which “have to be addressed” but warned there were no active discussions at the moment.

In a previous statement to Express.co.uk, the DfT confirmed motoring taxes would need to “keep pace” with changes on the road.

The Transport Select Committee is also set to take more evidence on a possible road pricing strategy this Autumn.



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