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The automobile industry calls for budgetary aid to revive sales of electric vehicles


Britain’s car industry has pleaded with the chancellor to help get the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) back on track when he presents his Budget next week, accusing the government of setting its own target.

The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said it was clear that the decision to delay until 2035 the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, announced by Rishi Sunak in September last year , had turned against him.

The industry was aiming for a deadline of 2030 before the the government’s turnaroundfor cost reasons, and warned at the time that the move would hurt investment and be a step backwards in efforts to combat climate change.

The SMMT said on Friday that although the UK electric vehicle market remained the second largest in Europe by volume, sales were below levels expected before the government’s delay.

He indicated that the use of private electric vehicles was down 19% year-on-year in 2023 after the end of consumption incentives.

A survey carried out for the organization showed that almost half of potential electric vehicle buyers now planned to wait until after 2030 to change vehicles, compared to one in ten last year.

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The initial cost was the main obstacle, SMMT said.

He called on Jeremy Hunt to use the March 6 budget to ensure “fair taxes for a fairer transition”, saying electric car customers were being treated unfairly.

The SMMT has suggested a three-point plan to “recharge the market” and accelerate the UK’s progress towards net zero.

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Top of the wish list was reducing the 20% VAT rate on a new electric car to 10%.

He said it would save the average buyer around £4,000 on the initial purchase price – while costing the Treasury less than the scrapped plug-in car grant.

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The body also demanded that vehicle excise duties be reformed to prevent the majority of electric vehicles from being classed as “expensive cars” from next year, when a new surcharge is due to be imposed. implemented.

The latest measure was to allow public charging stations to charge VAT at 5% instead of 20%, bringing it in line with home charging costs.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The Chancellor must end the perverse tax system that discourages drivers from moving away from fossil fuels and send a clear signal that now is the time to go electric .

“Success will see our economy powered by zero-emission mobility, delivering cleaner air, quieter roads and lower running costs, ending the uncertainty we see among motorists.”


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