Stellantis UK arm slams government over lack of BEV incentives

A new budget by the embattled Sunak administration has failed to deliver, in the view of one of the country's largest automakers

Stellantis UK arm slams government over lack of BEV incentives
Vauxhall is set to be one of the UK's largest makers of BEVs

A new annual budget presented by the UK's finance minister "has not delivered the acceleration needed to stop the UK’s transition to electric vehicles from stalling", in the view of James Taylor, managing director of Vauxhall, the UK arm of Stellantis subsidiary Opel.

"If we are to meet the rightly ambitious targets laid out in the Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle mandate — 22pc of all cars sold this year, rising to 80pc in 2030 and 100pc by 2035 — then there needs to be incentives for private car buyers to make the switch to electric as there are in the majority of European nations," Taylor says.

Whilst there are "strong incentives" for company car drivers to make the switch to electric, including for "those choosing luxury vehicles", "the private buyer who wants a more attainable small or family car receives nothing", the Vauxhall chief laments. 

His firm, which will offer its entire car and van line-up as electric by the end of this year, "has a number of highly competitive offers available but we cannot drive demand alone", Taylor continues. 
Vauxhall is also supporting a campaign led by lobby group to have the tax rates on public charging reduced from a current 20pc to the same 5pc for domestic private charging — another demand that UK finance minister Jeremy Hunt ignored in his budget.

"We would call on the chancellor to urgently set up purchase incentives to stimulate the electric vehicle market and review the unfair taxation on public charging, so that the UK is not left behind in the race to more sustainable motoring," Taylor concludes.
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The budget is "a missed opportunity to deliver fairer tax for a fair transition", agrees Mike Hawes, CEO of UK automakers' lobby the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders. "Reducing VAT on new EVs, revising vehicle taxation to promote rather than punish going electric, and an end to the VAT ‘pavement penalty’ on public charging would have energised the market," he says.

"With both Government and industry having statutory requirements to deliver net zero, more still needs to be done to help consumers make the switch," Hawes continues.

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