David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, said: “With growing pressure to clean up air quality, the government must embrace ULEVs, not look to profit from them. While the plug-in car market is growing, it still accounts for just 1.3% of new cars registered this year. Any change in taxation that penalises environmentally-conscious motorists will only serve to destabalise this fragile market.”Edmund King, AA president, said: “If the Government is serious about improving air quality and increasing the use of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles it would be better to promote incentives to encourage their take-up rather than introducing penalties for those still using internal combustion engine vehicles. Scrapping the new proposed VED bands would be a start and significantly increasing the number of charging points would help.”The number of ULEVs registered in the year to date (October 2016) has increased 39.2% over 2015, to 30,205 units. This is compared to annual market growth of 94% from 2014 to 2015, and equates to just 1.3% of all new car registrations in 2016.
Changes to vehicle excise duty (VED) mean that from 1 April 2017, current owners of plug-in hybrids will be taxed at the same rate as petrol or diesel cars, which produce higher levels of emissions.
Current benefit-in-kind (BiK) rates mean that fleet drivers can pay less than half the Company Car Tax of a low emissions diesel car by running a zero emissions electric vehicle. In 2016, a zero emissions company car driver pays 7% BiK compared to 18% of a diesel vehicle emitting 76g/km CO2.
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Ian Crowder: ian.crowder@theAA.com or 07917 599 793