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BVRLA: Government's plug-in strategy not working

In particular, the association fully endorses the committee’s criticism of the way in which the Treasury changed the framework of financial incentives available for early plug-in vehicle adopters without any consultation.

Although the Government insists that the business fleet market is vitally important to the uptake of low-carbon vehicles, the last Budget announced the removal of a number of key tax incentives for plug-in cars.

‘The Government needs to radically rethink its Plug-in vehicle policy, which isn’t working,’ said John Lewis, chief executive of the BVRLA.

‘Nearly two-years on from the launch of this policy, we have a huge underspend and just a trickle of plug-in vehicle sales.'

‘Companies and drivers still have a lot of uncertainty about this new technology and these cars aren’t going to start selling in serious numbers until the government undertakes a major review of its strategy and incentives,’ he added.
The BVRLA is suggesting an array of long-term incentives that would also appeal to the second and third owners of used electric vehicles, instead of throwing £5,000 at people who buy one new.

These incentives could include a reduction in or exemption from Vehicle Excise Duty for the life of the vehicle; financial help with installing domestic charge points; guaranteed lower rates of company car tax; and exemption from parking fees and congestion charges.

The BVRLA also agrees with the Transport Committee’s suggestion that the Government needs to set targets for the uptake of electric vehicles, so that the success of its Plug-in Car Grant incentive can be more accurately measured.

Alex Grant

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