MPs join BVRLA call for tax incentives to drive EV uptake

42 MPs have called for the Chancellor Philip Hammond to introduce tax-based incentives in his upcoming budget in order to stimulate uptake of electric vehicles.

The cross-party group’s announcement comes days after the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) submitted a letter to the Chancellor making a similar plea.

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The BVRLA is urging the government to bring forward the company car tax reduction to 2% in April 2019, rather than maintaining the current plan to increase it to 16% in 2019/20, before falling to 2% in 2020/21. This will effectively force fleets to delay any planned transition to EVs for another year.

As well as bringing forward the lower threshold for electric vehicles, the BRVLA wants the government to freeze Company Car Tax at current rates, eliminate unintentional VED increases after the WLTP transition, and publish a four- to five-year view of CCT bands.

Neil Parish MP said: “We are urging the Chancellor to bring forward a planned reduction in Company Car Tax by just one year. Patchwork tax policy is not helping drive consumer behaviour and should be replaced with streamlined legislation to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles. The Government cannot tackle the urgent issue of air pollution with the handbrake on.”

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BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “Last week the BEIS Select Committee made clear in its report about driving the transition to electric vehicles that time is of the essence if government is serious about the UK leading the transition to zero emission.

“This month’s Budget provides the Chancellor with the perfect opportunity to address the glaring lack of cross-government alignment when it comes to creating a supportive environment to incentive the uptake of electric vehicles.”

The MPs’ letter comes after the BVRLA committed to increasing the number of plug-in vehicles from 50,000 in 2018, to 720,000 by 2025 as part of its ‘Plug-In’ Pledge.

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