Ford Attacks UK Government of BEV Incentives U-Turn

Ford has slammed the UK government’s tax hike on EVs in an Autumn Budget that many are labelling ‘Austerity 2.0’.

The Budget, delivered by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, scraps the vehicle excise duty (VED) break on EVs that will see owners of cars made from 2017 paying and extra annual charge of £165 ($195) and commercial LCVs £290 ($343). Also EV priced at more than £40,000 ($47,443) will also incur the high value annual tax of £355 ($421) in line with ICE powered vehicles.

The chancellor said this would address unfairness in the present taxing system while also announcing that ICE powered vehicle owners will see tax duties on gasoline and diesel rise by 12p (14¢) per liter. He had previously warned everyone would have to pay to close the fiscal black hole blamed on the rushed ‘Mini Budget’ announced under the previous prime minister, Liz Truss. Now the UK faces what looks very like another austerity package – the first one instigated in 2010 in response to the global financial crisis that saw the nation’s growth stifled under the Conservative Party.

However, Tim Slatter, Ford UK chairman, said: “With clear 2030 and 2035 targets, the UK is on track to be one of the leading G7 nations to transition to electric vehicles. Ford has called for the UK government to strengthen its support for the EV transition by implementing its proposed ZEV mandate in 2024, providing a clear investment signal to charging infrastructure providers to pick up the pace of roll out. With nine all-electric cars and vans in the market from 2025, Ford is all-in on the electric transition.

“Unfortunately, today’s announcement by the government to impose VED for electric vehicles from 2025 is a short-sighted move. We are still many years from the ‘tipping point’ when electric vehicles will reach cost parity with petrol and diesel vehicles. Until then, we should be incentivising customers to make the greener choice. This is particularly important for commercial vehicles, where take-up of electric models lags behind passenger cars. CVs are driving businesses forward to a greener future.  Home deliveries and other increases in urban CV traffic also make the switch to zero-emission vans important for air quality, health and noise benefits.” Ford also called for the UK government to implement its proposed 2024 ZEV mandate in the attached industry letter for COP27.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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