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Government looks to retain EV purchase incentives until 2020

OLEV is currently analysing responses to a consultation document on how a further £500 million of Government cash might be spent to support the uptake of low emissions vehicles between 2015 and 2020. 

Anna West, head of consumer initiatives at OLEV, told delegates at the ACFO event that an announcement would be made in the spring on the draft package of support in advance of implementation from April 2015. 

‘We think there will be some form of purchase incentive available from April 2015 so the fleet market is supported in electric vehicle acquisition,’ said West. ‘We recognise that fleets are leaders and we need to get them on board to make sure our agenda to encourage adoption of ultra low emission vehicles is a success. 

‘We have had a fantastic response from fleets so far with almost 50% grant uptake being from the business sector. Where fleets lead others will follow.’ 

The Government has forecast that by 2050 it anticipates almost every car and van on the nation’s roads will be an ultra low emission vehicle – and that implies a huge take-up among fleets and consumers for electric power. 

Nevertheless, West said OLEV did not believe there would be a single mobile solution, but a range with pure electric vehicles, plug-in petrol and diesel and hydrogen models among those available. 

She said: ‘We are moving towards a zero emission world and we are here to kick-start change.’ 

Existing and future electric vehicle purchase incentive schemes are supported by a range of tax incentives that, apart from company car tax, include special rates in relation to Vehicle Excise Duty and capital allowances. 

However, electric vehicle mileage reimbursement rates for company cars (Advisory Fuel Rates) and privately owned cars on business trips (Approved Mileage Allowance Payments), despite repeated ACFO requests, remain to be clarified. 

West told delegates: ‘We are working with HMRC to try and develop a new regime and guidance will be published soon.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.

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