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Groundhog day – the electric car revolution

By Ross Williams

Alpha Contracts Leasing Ltd

I FEEL like we have been here before. In recent weeks all I seem to have read are articles about electric cars, banning petrol and diesel engines and now even banning plug-in hybrids. This will happen in 2040/2035/2032 depending upon which paper you read. Is it any wonder we are confused?

There is no doubt that eventually we will all have to drive electric vehicles, however the Government does seem to be chasing a rabbit down a hole with its increasingly desperate moves of the goalposts in terms of the timetable by which to achieve this.

It begs the question why does the UK have to be the first to achieve everything? Where is the kudos in that? Would it not be better to take a little more time over the process thus ensuring that the ‘back office’ in terms of infrastructure and power generation capacity has caught up with increased demand? Time for a quick quiz question, how many vehicle charging points are there in the UK today?*

There is another factor to consider. Currently the UK Exchequer benefits from nearly £30bn income in terms of fuel duty tax per annum, and that is before any VAT income is taken into account. If we all drive an electric car then we won’t need to buy fuel, resulting in the loss of that income. There are enough potholes now when in theory the road tax and duty pays for road repair, (only about 25 per cent of this income is actually spent on roads, the balance goes into the general coffers), how many pot holes will there be if there isn’t any income from fuel duty and road tax?

Inevitably, the Government will have to replace the lost income from somewhere and will simply go back to the seemingly bottomless well that is the motorist. We would see increases in road tax charges at the very least, we could see road pricing introduced charging drivers for their journeys, which is effectively what fuel duty does now. Tax on the electricity used to charge the vehicles could be introduced and the removal of incentives to take up the vehicles is certain since we would have no choice but to buy the damn things any way.

In the meantime, in the normal world, even 2032 is probably four car changes away for many companies, so while we wait for the dust to settle and HMG to get its act together, we still need to keep changing our vehicles. It remains true that high mileage users should be choosing diesel engines, and the new more efficient Euro 6.2 engines are cleaner than ever. (Why did the European Bureaucrats decide on Euro 6.2 and not Euro 7? Sums them up really.) The Euro 6.2 cars will not be penalised under BIK rules so company car drivers can start choosing them again rather than hybrids with a lower fuel efficiency.

At Alpha Contracts we continue to offer our customers exceptional deals on all makes, models, and engines, so to help you manage the next car change call 01604 756620 to talk through any questions you may have or email

* P.S. the answer to the quiz question of how many charging points is 10600 – not enough really, is it?

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