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Revhead Ramblings: How the government are trying to kill the EV revolution

It seems like we were just about gaining momentum in the EV revolution and now we’re cutting the plug-in car grants.

Cars are often used as the golden standard of environmental destruction. We know that our driving is hurtful to the environment but so is our beef consumption. I’m yet to see Mrs May put a tariff on cows…

In the News

These past few weeks wherever you look, people are discussing the UN’s prediction that we have just 12 years to save the planet. Cutting COproduction, curbing deforestation and changing our diets will all contribute positively to this, yet the government have announced they’re scrapping the grants for plug- in hybrid buyers.

Now in an ideal world we wouldn’t need to pay people to make the switch, as it is the right thing to do. However, our world is far from ideal and paying a percentage of the price of a car is nothing in comparison to the difference it will make in the long run.

The Figures

From next month, the current subsidy programme for electrified vehicles will be overhauled completely. No plug-in hybrid on sale will be eligible for a list price discount – previously £2500 (and before 2016 £5000) – while even the subsidy for full EVs will be cut by £1000.

These changes have come as electrified vehicle sales had really started to gather momentum. Up until September of this year PHEV and EV sales made up just 2.5% of new car sales in the UK. Somehow, the government see now as the optimum time to cut grants for PHEVs as ‘the market is more established’ and doesn’t need the support anymore.

Norway: The Model Country

Off the bat, Norway is a very different country to us. They have a huge sovereign wealth fund and it generates most of its own electricity from hydroelectric plants. Having said that, over half of new cars registered there last year were plug-in hybrids or BEVs. Their two best selling cars are fully electric. It’s easy to see why when their EVs are exempt from VAT, import and purchase taxes and pay reduced fees for ferries.

Norway took to their EV revolution before us and with more vigour, so why are they still offering incentives when the people are taken, yet we’re cutting modest grants at the forefront of our change?

Regardless of the incentives for buyers, manufacturers will be the ones to guide us to EVs. As they increase the range of BEVs, reduce their price and help to develop a better charging network. I’d like to say this is because they want to make an active change for the better, in reality it’s for them to hit their stringent fleet average CO2 targets. I’m sure further grants will be offered in the future, but for now we’re in real danger of stalling our EV revolution.

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