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Autumn Statement ULEV incentives key to cleaning up air quality

Fri 18th November 2016

The AA and Chargemaster are calling on The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, to further incentivise the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) ahead of the Autumn Statement on 23 November. The call to action follows increasing pressure for government to improve air quality in UK cities, caused by vehicle emissions.

To improve ULEV uptake, the AA and Chargemaster strongly recommend a reversal in plans to reduce ULEV ownership benefits, announced by then-Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 2015 and 2016 Budgets. They are also warning against the reduction in benefits for company car drivers who use an ULEV, a move which could have dramatic implications for the fragile plug-in vehicle market.

David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, said: “With growing pressure to clean up air quality, the government must embrace ULEVs, not look to profit from them. While the plug-in car market is growing, it still accounts for just 1.3% of new cars registered this year. Any change in taxation that penalises environmentally-conscious motorists will only serve to destabalise this fragile market.”

Edmund King, AA president, said: “If the Government is serious about improving air quality and increasing the use of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles it would be better to promote incentives to encourage their take-up rather than introducing penalties for those still using internal combustion engine vehicles. Scrapping the new proposed VED bands would be a start and significantly increasing the number of charging points would help.”

The number of ULEVs registered in the year to date (October 2016) has increased 39.2% over 2015, to 30,205 units. This is compared to annual market growth of 94% from 2014 to 2015, and equates to just 1.3% of all new car registrations in 2016.
Changes to vehicle excise duty (VED) mean that from 1 April 2017, current owners of plug-in hybrids will be taxed at the same rate as petrol or diesel cars, which produce higher levels of emissions.

Current benefit-in-kind (BiK) rates mean that fleet drivers can pay less than half the Company Car Tax of a low emissions diesel car by running a zero emissions electric vehicle. In 2016, a zero emissions company car driver pays 7% BiK compared to 18% of a diesel vehicle emitting 76g/km CO2.


Media contacts
Hannah Burgess: hburgess@torqueagencygroup.com or 020 7952 1092
Alex Michaelides: amichaelides@torqueagencygroup.com or 020 7952 1078
Ian Crowder: ian.crowder@theAA.com or 07917 599 793